"We are good."

Translation:Nous sommes bons.

March 8, 2013

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I panicked and answered "Ça va bien"


"bons" and "bonnes" are interchangeable?


Bon = Masculine, Bonne = Feminine


In this answer, both 'bons' and 'bonnes' should be acceptable I feel because 'Nous' is gender-ambiguous in this case.

Quoting from what northernguy wrote below:

"In French, if groups are all masculine or mixed masculine and feminine then the masculine is used. If the group is known to be all feminine then the feminine is used. In a room full of women if even one man is present then the masculine form is required."


Isn't one of them for girls


Why is it not sommons? Isn't sommons the "we / nous" conjugate form?


"sommes" is auxiliary "être", 1st person plural.

"sommons" is verb "sommer", 1st person plural and it means "we summon";


Why is "Nous sommes biens" wrong? Doesn't bien have a plural form? Biens? :P


"Bien" is an adverb so it is invariable.


I really struggle with "bien" and "bon".....is there a simple way to remember which is the appropriate one to use ?

EG: for this translation I incorrectly wrote " Nous sommes biens".

Thanks to your posting here I now know "bien" is invariable, but I could apparently have used "bons".

Thank you advance for any help you can offer!



"Bon, bonne, bons, bonnes" is an adjective.

"Bien" is an invariable adverb (no feminine, no plural).

When "bien" is used as an adjective, with the verb "être", its meaning is different from that of "bon(ne)(s)".

  • Je suis bon, je suis bon en maths = I am good, I am good at maths
  • Je suis bien, je me sens bien = I am comfortable, I feel good
  • C'est un homme bon = he is a good man, with a good heart
  • C'est un homme bien = he is a decent man, with moral values.


Thanks for your help & support Sitesurf :]

Whilst studying French I have discovered that my UK grammar school education failed to teach me grammar terminology, so on top of french, I am having to learn what an adverb/verb/noun etc are, groan! It is probably very good for my ageing brain to have to work so hard ;}


It's good to give your brain a makeover (une cure de jouvence)!


how does "on est" translate to "we are" I dont understand what that means.. shouldn't it be "nous sommes bons"


Both are correct. In French, particularly while speaking, "On" is used to replace "Nous". The tricky part comes when conjugating the verbs. In this case, the verb is "etre". When using "On", you always use the "il/elle" form of the conjugation. So, in this case "On est" = "Nous sommes". You can apply the same priniciple to all other verbs too.



Just what I need.

Another rather complicated exception that is used mostly when speaking.

I certainly do appreciate your explanation though!!.


How do we know that it is masculine and not feminine, if it is a group? "Nous sommes bons" vs. "Nous sommes bonnes"--we don't have context, so wouldn't both work?


In French, if groups are all masculine or mixed masculine and feminine then the masculine is used. If the group is known to be all feminine then the feminine is used. In a room full of women if even one man is present then the masculine form is required.


What about 'nous sommes gentils'? A native French speaker suggested this as a solution


Depending on context, that is right.


Why is nos sont bons incorrect?


"nos" means "our", so a possessive adjective and not a personal pronoun. so, "we" = nous

in addition, you used the conjugation of 3rd person plural (ils/elles = they) instead of 1st person plural.

je suis, tu es, il/elle/on est, nous sommes, vous êtes (polite singular and plural), ils/elles sont


Thank you sitesurf :)


Why is the 'nous' necessary? Isn't it implied by the sommes?


"Nous" is necessary to distinguish who is/are good. See Sitesurf's post 2nd above this.


I thought that in French, things are descibed as "I have something" opposed to "I am something" (for instance, we say "I am thirsty" in English.) In French, don't you say "I have thirst,"(instead of saying "Je suis soif," you say "J'ai soif,"?)


It seems from reading this that bon and bien are synonymous. Is that so, or is there a subtlety about when they are used?


I tried "Nous sommes doués". We are good (at something), for example "Nous sommes doués (en francais)". Would it not also be a correct translation?


''on sommes bons'' when do i have to use ''on'' and when ''nous''?


Am i silly for thinking that ' On est bons/bonnes' is also acceptable?


Non, non, pas idiote du tout !

Since "on" can replace "nous", the matching verb conjugation has to be in 3rd person singular, but the rest can be in plural, masculine or feminine:

  • on est bons/bonnes
  • on a nos chapeaux
  • on est allées à Paris


Phew :), I seemed to remember that (from your teachings!) but when DL rejected it, i suffered a temporary loss of confidence! Merciiiii x


Just a little detail: even if "on" can be used as a plural as shown above, you cannot use it in feminine singular. So, if "on" is a woman, you will not use any agreement in feminine.

The reason is that the singular "on" is meant to be vague and neutral, hence the 'masculine by default'. If you mean that this "person" is a woman, you will naturally get away from "on" and go back to "she".


Thanks very much. It actually makes perfect sense to me. You are such an increadible treasure Sitesurf. You have sweetened this difficult journey into your language for so many of us!


Who said that Moderator was a thankless job? xxx


My reply was Nous sont çava

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