"She is an African woman."
Translation:C'est une femme africaine.
This is a rule you will have to apply VERY often on Duolingo. In French, "c'est" (sing.) and "ce sont" (plural) are used in a large variety of expressions, when a pronoun (it, she, he, they) is subject of verb "être" and followed by a nominal group, ie: modifier (+ adjective) + noun.
it is + modifier + noun = c'est + modifier + noun
she is + modifier + noun = c'est + modifier + noun
he is + + modifier + noun = c'est + modifier + noun
they are + noun = ce sont + modifier + noun
Note: modifiers are articles, possessive or demonstrative adjectives.
This is a great help.... With a modifier one speaks more indirectly... this is an African woman. Without a modifier one speaks more directly... she is African. I will try to remember this by thinking the modifier makes the subject a little more distant, so I will refer to them more as an "it".
What if we want to say, "This is Pierre's wife. She is a famous singer", would we repeat "C'est" in the two consecutive sentences, something like "C'est la femme de Pierre. C'est une chanteuse célèbre."?
If you are showing her picture, or if she can't hear you, you can use "c'est/c'est" twice.
If she is present and you want to show more respect, you can use at least "elle est" once, thereby twisting the rule but for a good reason.
Even in her presence, you don't have to repeat the same construction
- Voici la femme de Pierre, c'est une chanteuse célèbre.
- Voici/C'est la femme de Pierre, une chanteuse célèbre.
- Je te présente la femme de Pierre, elle est une chanteuse célèbre.
- C'est la femme de Pierre et une chanteuse célèbre.
Also note that "célèbre" can be placed before the noun, for a more personalized appreciation on her.
If she were present, then it is probable that she has already been introduced to the others present that she is the wife of Pierre. Thus the "C'est la femme de Pierre" is out of the way and you could begin to refer to "La femme de Pierre" as "Elle". That means you would point to the picture and say, "Cela est elle" or something with the pronoun.
Sound right? I'm still trying to piece together the reasons behind the logic of these rules.
In a dialogue with questions and answers, you will tend to reuse the style of the question asked:
- Qui est-elle ? - Elle ? C'est la femme de Pierre.
- Qui est-ce ? - C'est la femme de Pierre.
Yet "elle est la femme de Pierre" is an unusual way of speaking.
So to confirm, without the modifier you'd use "elle est", as in "elle est une femme"? (but since we specify that she's african, we must use "c'est une femme africaine")
It sounds like everything is an unknown quantity, and thus "ce" until it is defined as "un" or "une" or whatever. Then perhaps we can refer to the African woman as a "La" or "Elle".
Hmm, actually it did accepted "Elle est une femme africaine" (at least when I put that), however I'm pretty sure what Surf just posted is the best way to go.
She is an African woman ("an African woman" is a modified noun) = c'est une femme africaine or c'est une Africaine
She is African ("African" is an adjective) = elle est africaine.
Yes, but it seems in French that they often use an adjective, with its proper gender and number, in place of a modified noun. Am I getting tripped up on something?
No, you're right. That's the common usage but it's not "techically" the translation they're asking for.
Thank you for the explanation!
Couldn't this information be added in the "Tips and Notes"? (if i'm not wrong it isn't there, if it's already, just ignore me) :-)
I used "C'est une africaine" & it was marked wrong because I did not use "femme". Doesn't "africaine" imply woman?
- c'est une femme africaine = she is an African woman
- c'est une Africaine = she is an African woman
- elle est africaine = she is African
Please note that nationality adjectives are not capitalized in French, but nationality nouns are.
C'est une Africaine has "Africaine" (capitalized) as a noun.
So "he is a japanese boy" can only be translated "C'est un garçon japonais" but "she is an african woman" can be either "C'est" (btw i don't understand why it's not cette est since both she and woman are feminine) or "Elle est"?
« Cette » is an adjective, not a pronoun. « Ce » is the impersonal, simple indefinite demonstrative pronoun, and it's invariable in both number and gender.
Why do English adjectives always come before the noun?
In reality, 85% of French adjectives come after the noun, but exceptions have to be known because they are very frequent.
Please take a look at rules and exceptions here:
I thought the same thing. Specific since general I guess is how we must remember the difference.
In the other example it marked "c'est un homme japonais" wrong because "homme" is not necessary but here it's okay to include "femme"?
Elle est une femme africaine. is correct and i just lost my last life smh
The translation is lacking because the English phrase contains the word "She" and when we translate "She" to "Elle", it should be correct. Using "C'est" works but it's not a clear as using "Elle"
She is.... not this is.... who's writing the translations? I have a degree in French and 35 years+ French language experience... and teaching... the "correct" translation is not correct.
So, you're insisting that my French friends and family don't know how to speak their own language?
The author is not an academic linguist. She's also Franco-American, by the sounds of it (the article is written in American English too.). That does actually make a considerable difference to the way the language is used and pronounced (American accents begin very strong and near-impossible to hide). It's not reasonable to cite articles from someone who doesn't have the academic and professional training, and imply that their version is correct.
Please read the other article from the Académie Française, if you don't trust a Franco-American person.
A Franco-American person inevitably speaks a very different version of English, and usually a very different version of English. That's why French schools offer British English or American English. I don't see any academic qualifications for you, so have nothing to refer to.
You apparently missed the point. This is about French, not English. What you have to learn is that "elle est une X" must be changed to "c'est une X". It is a French grammar rule.