So we just had a question where the correct translation for "he is a boy" was "c'est un garçon" - now here "he is" = "il est," so I'm just trying to understand in what cases one uses "c'est" to refer to he/she vs. using "il/elle." In this case it seems like the difference is "il est + [adjective]" vs. the previous "c'est un [noun]" - is that what changes the usage?
Merci beaucoup pour votre aide!
Use il est with adjective describing person.
Use c'est with adjective describing situation.
Use il est with unmodified noun
Use c'est with modified noun (includes article) or proper name.
Use il est with unmodified adverb eg: late
Use c'est with modified adverb eg: too late
Use il est with prepositional phrase eg: He is in France.
French requires the application of either an article,determiner or an adjective to nouns to modify them or proper grammatical structure is not maintained.
In English, often they are optional and therefore it has less need for them.
Check the links below for information relating to their use in English. Apply it to French bearing in mind that they are required virtually everywhere in that language.
Locations are another story. All countries and continents are gendered and numbered sometimes.
So, "les Pays-Bas" or "les Etats-Unis" are masculine, as well as "le Japon, le Canada, le Honduras..."
For all these, the correct preposition is "à", which gets contracted with "le" in "au" and with "les" in "aux":
- je vis au Japon et je vais aux Etats-Unis
Feminine countries and all continents use "en":
- je vis en France et je vais en Australie.
Now, regions, provinces or American states are whimsical: some have a French translation (feminine in most cases), others starting with a vowel are considered as feminine...
Bentonville est en Arkansas (or "dans l'Arkansas") et Houston au/dans le Texas.
le/au Colorado, la/en Louisiane, la/en Caroline du Nord, la/en Californie
dans le Maine, dans l'Ontario
Thank you Sitesurf. I just realized unmodified nouns would be true of many locations. I saw on this link (En vs dans) where one would say "J'habite en Californie" or "Je vais en France" for example. However, it would be "J'habite dans le Maine" or "Je vais dans l'Ontario" as some locations need a definite article. In English, at the moment, I can think only of "The Netherlands" but for states/provinces we would never use an article. Perhaps the French do if it the location begins with a vowel or is vowel-sounding?
So I put "As soon as he drinks, it is bad" and that's wrong. I get that. My question is, would "As soon as he drinks, it is bad" be "Des qu'il boit, c'est mauvis?" I figure if I've got the wrong answer to the question, I should find the right question to the answer I have. Thanks!
But "since" alone should be ok, I think. See http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/d%C3%A8s/24000 and http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/since
The statement by itself seems to indicate that when he drinks alcohol he becomes a bad person. It could possibly mean when he drinks contaminated water he becomes sick. It doesn't specify what it is he is drinking so you have to supply that information your self.
But when I first read it I immediately took it to refer to drinking alcohol which is the meaning I would take from the English translation.
Thanks sitesurf, It is true, and it still should be an accepted answer with a warning. We all learned with this exercise sentence how French works. Also, what is the meaning and use of the sentence in English, either wrong or good answer, we got to be aware of the meaning of a sentence before the literal translation. I guess that curiosity to differentiate meaning from literal translation is what fills these comments at duolingo, righ?
see some of the translation are wrong logically so that would make the students confuse while learning so yeah maybe I was a little unfair to this course but that's just for duolingo it self so the courses in duolingo be much better. accept my greeting jackjon see you later.