"He is a Japanese boy."
Translation:C'est un garçon japonais.
The general rule is:
il / elle est + adjective, ils / elles sont + adjective
c'est + [a noun which is modified by one of the following:]
an indefinite article - un, une, des
a definite article - le, la, les
a possessive adjectives - mon, ma, mes, tu, vous, son, sa, ses
a demonstrative adjectives - ce, cette, ces
by a number - deux, trois...
I don't understand. Not the first choice because it spells Japanese with the feminine ending. It is the second choice that should be correct even with the addition of the third choice being correct due to the "c'est ma femme" colloquialism. However, I thought that this usage of "c'est" only applied in the possessive application as in " ma femme". Anyone want to clear this up?
Quebec has lot of interesting words that may or may not be part of "Standard" french, as do other parts of Canada. Meaning that, even though "Char" is fairly acceptable in Quebec for "Car" (with the basis of the word being "Chariot"), it's not part of French the world over. English has the same issue. "Boot" in England means the trunk of a car, but we certainly wouldn't say that in BC. I guess what I am saying, is that Duolingo is focusing on more broad-based usage, rather than specific.
I guess it's just something I have to live with. It's very confusing, living in Quebec and trying to learn French, picking up phrases and words only to find that they're wrong on Duolingo. I can't expect Duolingo to accept Quebec French, since France has so many more native speakers, but it's frustrating. :P
Not necessarily an object: C'est un grand homme. (he is a great man). Homme isn't grammatical object here...
I would say that c'est goes always before a noun with an article. Here are another links for this issue:
I, too, was confused about the il est/c'est thing. I read part of the blog that KristianCRO linked to and now I'll just have to keep an eye out for articles. I guess it's just one of those things that will come naturally after enough practice.
From what I know so far, the translation of "C'est un garcon japonais" would've been THIS is a japonese boy. I still think Duolingo should've given us SOME sort of credit for selecting Il est..
To help me understand this better. In French 'Il est' is wrong because the sentence is just stating that some boy happens to be Japanese. We may or may not be near him, we may or may not know him; we are simply stating that a boy is Japanese. Given that the English language doesn't allow us to use 'it' when referring to a human, our only option is to use 's/he is'. So in fact this sentence in English could also be thought of as 'it's a Japanese boy'?
C'est versus il / elle est
You may find it helpful to read this:
This is an oversimplification but...
He is / She is + adjective -- use Il est / Elle est
He is / She is + noun -- use C'est
So... c'est can mean 'he is' or 'she is' in certain circumstances.
Not always. This might help: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est
I completely fail to understand when the sentence starts with "He is.... " that that it should translate as c'est which basically translates as "this is". I am sure that I have answered very similar sentences in exactly the same fashion to have the answer directed the other way. I am sure that in a real-life conversation it won't matter either way.......