"C'est ce qu'il fait."

Translation:This is what he does.

March 14, 2013



So literally, "It is this that he does" - correct?

July 21, 2013


That is exactly what I said and I was wrong. I think it will only accept "This is what he does"

November 20, 2013


Its literally correct but the combination of "ce" being the object and "qu'il" changes the statement to "what" rather than "that" he does.

December 20, 2013


I put "This is what he makes" and it was also accepted!... Mostly because I forgot "fais" meant more than just "make" xD (August 27, 2018)

August 28, 2018


why "ce" is needed? why not "c'est qu'il fait?"

March 14, 2013


"what" translates in various forms in French, but with this construction, it is mandatory to give "fait" a direct object, which is "ce"

March 14, 2013


I guess it should be "c'est (this is) ce (something) que (that) il fait (he does)". So, he does "something", which seems to be a mandatory component in French.

July 29, 2013


As sitesurf pointed out, ce is the object. But in the context, it is putting extra emphasis on "this / ce" as the thing that he does.

December 20, 2013


How am I supposed to differentiate C'est, ce(s) and se with this audio??

October 30, 2013


You cannot confuse them because what follows is different:

  • "c'est ce qu'il fait" = it is / this is what he does

  • "ces + plural noun" = these + plural noun

  • "ce + singular noun" = this + singular noun - or - "ce que + clause" = what + clause

  • "se + verb" = verb + himself

October 30, 2013


How to say "That's what happens". Apparently not "C'est ce qu'il fait."

August 30, 2013


"that's what happens" = c'est ce qui arrive, c'est ce qui se passe, c'est ce qui se produit

August 31, 2013


one of the proposed meanings of fait was "(he/she/it) is", so t I typed "this is what it is", why not correct? and actually my phrase sounded much cooler, and my heart is broken now...

November 13, 2013


"c'est ce qu'il fait" states about what he is doing or making, since verb "faire" both means do/make, not "be".

November 14, 2013


If the "help" gave all the correct conjugations and meanings how would we learn anything? Only with some constructions will the "help" give a full conjugation. In most cases it gives the definitions of the word. In this case "ce qu'il fait" is "what he does" (probably determined by context over "...what it does"), not "what it is".

December 23, 2013


I agree that the help doesn't give the correct solutions always. And I understood the mistake I've done. Still, just "this is what it is" sounds much cooler :) But now you confused me, Why you think it is not "this is what it does", because I believe; the sentence you proposed "ce qu'il le fait" ="this is what he/it does to him/it"

February 12, 2014


This seems to be a case where I cannot find evidence that fait ever means "is," and that threw me too. Wordreference.com doesn't provide any examples of that, so it might be something to report.

February 17, 2014


Verb "fait" does not mean "is", ever, but "does" or "makes".

It may happen that some idiomatic expressions use "be" in English and "faire" in French, but that is just coincidence

Ex: il fait froid = it is cold does not imply that "fait" means "is" or vice-versa.

February 17, 2014


"It may happen that some idiomatic expressions use "be" in English and "faire" in French, but that is just coincidence"

That's essentially my question, though. How are we to know this isn't one of those coincidences, especially when the only drop-down verbal translation given by Duo was "is"? That's why I'm saying it's something to report. "Do/make" should be shown or else one might think this is a case like "Il fait froid."

February 17, 2014


I don't know who keeps marking down your question/comment but I think the point is that DL is an aid, whereas these comment boards are great for clarification. There is a report function in the exercise and to the left of the page to flag an issue if you wish. The reason you may not find much sympathy is that most at this stage accept "faire" is "make/do" so wouldn't use the mouseover help, unless its an idiomatic expression. Just wait until you reach such idiomatic gems as "You snooze you lose" and "early bird catches the worm". Then you'll have some real issues with Duolingo ;-)

February 17, 2014


Would 'This is what it does' also be an acceptable translation (I did 'This is what he does' and now I'm wondering)

February 7, 2014


I see no reason why not (please educate me Francophones), but context I believe would determine which is correct.

February 7, 2014



February 8, 2014


I understood that "fait" means "does", but the pop up says "is" as its first translation, so I translated as "That's what he is.", and, of course, got it wrong. I'm really tired of duolingo giving bad information. Is there any circumstance where "fait" means "is"? If not, why do they offer this as an acceptable translation? I've always known "faire" as "to do".

January 15, 2014


I cannot think of an example where does would be is, but anyway, you have to keep in mind that the information suggested by Duo when you hover on words is just a glossary of a range of possible meanings, depending on context, construction, etc.

Therefore, you do not directly get the correct answer to the sentence you are working on.

I don't know about your native language but I advise you to back translate what you write before punching "enter", so that you can check it makes sense.

"that's what he is" = c'est ce qu'il est

January 16, 2014


Do all verbs like fait require a direct pronoun? Having a good grammar with you is handy

February 7, 2014


How do I know if "que" meant What or That?

April 24, 2017


When "what" is used in a statement, as a relative pronoun, you can translate it to "ce qui" (subject) or "ce que" (object):

  • that is what is done= c'est ce qui est fait
  • that is what I do = c'est ce que je fais
April 24, 2017


I am really struggling with this same concept. Can you expand your explanation above as I am having a really hard time understanding it. In part because I guess I don't understand what you mean by object vrs subject. Isn't the subject and object of a sentence the same thing? I really don't see any difference in the two example sentences provided. I think it's back to my issue of trying to learn a language based on "rules" when I don't know my native tongue of English in that manner at all. I wouldn't have a clue if something was an object or a subject I guess even in English :(

January 24, 2019

[deactivated user]

    Ce+que (qui) = "what"

    July 28, 2018


    I am confused with SE and CE.

    The previous sentence was: "Ça SE peut" =That can be.

    Now we have: "C'est ce qu'il fait"= This is what he does.

    I can't seem to get my head around how/when to use SE and CE.

    Can anyone enlighten me? Pretty please :]

    April 29, 2018


    Basically you have to remember that "se" is a personal pronoun and reflexive and that "ce" is a demonstrative pronoun.

    The reflexive pronoun "se" corresponds to "himself, herself, oneself, themselves", even though you would not always use any of those in your translation: "il se lave" = he washes (himself).

    The demonstrative "ce" shows something, like "this" or "that", as in "c'est beau" = this/that is beautiful.

    When "ce" is followed by "qui" or "que", it means "the thing that/which" and the translation is "what", as in "ce qu'il fait est beau" = what he does is beautiful.

    May 8, 2018


    You always give the most concise and comprehensible replies, thanks ever so Sitesurf!


    May 8, 2018


    This sentence is crazy!!!!!

    February 7, 2019


    Is ce an object pronoun?, i haven't seen it in that list inside my French grammar book, also i saw that usually the object pronoun comes before the verb but here the structure of the sentence looks unfamiliar to me, Any thorough explanation?

    August 29, 2014


    "ce" is a demonstrative pronoun meaning "this/that thing".

    "This is what he does" has "what" meaning "the thing that", which translates to "ce que/qu' "

    August 30, 2014


    Regarding the pronounciation of c'est . I noticed that est is pronounced same wherever it comes but with ce its different. Am I right?

    September 9, 2014


    Roughly, "c'est" is pronounced like SAY (short vowel sound at the end, no diphthong, like in "bet").

    And "est" is pronounced the same, without the S sound at the beginning.

    September 9, 2014


    why "does" and not "is doing" for fait. Can it be "This is what he is doing" or "He is doing this"

    February 16, 2015


    Is there a reason "he does this" is unacceptable?

    March 14, 2015


    If you back translate it, you get "il fait ceci", which is not the sentence proposed in the first place.

    March 15, 2015


    why could this not be "this is what IT does", since il can mean 'he' or 'it'?

    June 12, 2015


    It can be "it".

    June 13, 2015


    I can never figure out how they want me to translate this. I know what it means literally, but I know that wouldn't work so I try to rephrase it and get it wrong.

    July 7, 2015


    The key is understanding/recognizing indefinite relative pronouns in French (http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefiniterelativepronouns.htm). Once you do, this becomes quite literal, in a sense.

    July 7, 2015


    This didn't help me that much either. The beginning of this video did help a bit but I think my roadblock was really when she mentioned having to know the noun starting at about 2:12 I know I don't understand how to classify that noun and I think that is why I am getting stuck a bit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzHvkuB46Xo

    January 24, 2019


    Could this sentence every mean this is what he "makes", or is it always "does" in this case? Like, if a friend made some sort of really abstract sculpture and I was having a hard time explaining it to someone, I might show them an example and say, "This is what he makes."

    July 13, 2015


    Just curious, not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but if I say "c'est ce que je fais" is that correct for "this is what I do"?

    October 16, 2015


    In the sentence qu' is que or qui. Rearranging the phrase I think it would be "Il fait ça" so I would incline for que instead of qui but not sure

    April 22, 2017


    "qu'" is elided from "que", not "qui", which never elides.

    April 22, 2017


    Is it correct if I say: C'est le qu'il fait ?

    June 24, 2017


    When "what" is not part of a question, please translate it to "ce qui" if "what" is the subject and "ce que" if "what" it the object:

    • I know what makes this noise = je sais ce qui fait ce bruit (subject)
    • I know what I saw = je sais ce que j'ai vu (object)
    June 24, 2017


    I translated it to 'It is that which he does' - c'est = it is; ce = that; qu'il = which he; fait = does. Is that not acceptable?

    September 6, 2017


    "ce que" or "ce qui" translate to "what":

    it is = c'est

    what = ce qu'

    he = il

    does = fait

    September 6, 2017


    I entered the answer as "That does it" thinking it might be an idiom, since the literal English phrasing I was coming up with felt awkward, and it was accepted. Looking at the comments here, is that supposed to be right?

    July 22, 2018


    How can we tell when 'fait' means make or do. I answered in Duolingo that "C'est ce qu'il fait" meant 'this is what he makes', and they said wrong, means 'this is what he does'. It means the same thing to me. If you are talking to someone in the street, it wouldn't be wrong either.

    November 30, 2018


    'that which' is the correct English form of 'what' in this context and should be marked as correct

    February 1, 2019


    Can someone explain the difference between ça and ce? My theory is that ça acts as a "subject" and ce as an "object" but I know that's wrong or too simplistic.

    February 27, 2019


    "Ce" is used with the verb "être": c'est (+ singular noun) or "ce sont" (+ plural noun).

    "Ceci, cela/ça" are used with all other verbs.

    March 1, 2019


    How do you pronounce C'est?

    March 27, 2019
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