https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaWil435508

il/elle est vs c'est

When would you use 'il est' instead of 'c'est' in sentences such as these

'Selon des études, c'est/il plus facile d'apprendre une langue quand on est jeune'

'L' école primaire est importante parce que c'est/elle est le début de leur socialisation avec d'autres jeunes de leur âge'

I would appreciate you help :)

7 months ago

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 8

"Selon des études, c'est/il plus facile d'apprendre une langue quand on est jeune"

  • In the construction "il est ADJ de + INF", the impersonal pronoun should be "il" and not "c'". The reason is that "ce/c'" is a real subject and, therefore, if you use it in this construction, the sentence has 2 real subjects:

-- Question: What is easier when you are young?
-- Answer: "c'" and "learn a language".

With c', the direct translation to English would be: "This (instead of "it") is easier to learn a language when you are young".

However, in spoken French, "c'est" is massively used in this construction, as well as in "il est ADJ que + clause".

"L' école primaire est importante parce que c'est/elle est le début de leur socialisation avec d'autres jeunes de leur âge".

  • In proper French, "il/elle est" is replaced with "c'est" before a modified noun. In this sentence, the noun "début" is modified by "le", definite article.

However, with a definite article, and for a stylistic effect, "elle est" can be used. Some journalists and writers do it, but more often when "elle" or "il" represents a person, as in "Madame Durand est une personne importante, car elle est la responsable du projet". Because the project has only one manager, this "unique status" makes "elle est la" acceptable and more respectful. Yet, I would resist using this when the subject is not a person.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaWil435508

Thank you so much :)

7 months ago
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.