https://www.duolingo.com/hadesftfw

C'est or il est?

This may be a stupid question to most of you, but:

To say "he is a tall man", do we say- 1. Il est un grand homme 2. Il est un homme grand 3. C'est un grand homme 4. C'est un homme grand

And, does it change when we say "This is a tall man" instead?

7 months ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Prenom.Pierre

He is a tall man = C'est un homme de grande taille.

This is a tall man = C'est un homme de grande taille.

He is a famous man = C'est un grand homme (ex: Churchill)

"Il est un grand homme", in this meaning, is totally wrong.

Unfortunately, sometimes, by contagion of the English way, some French people will write " il est un grand homme" but their young brother (or sister) of nine years who listens well his (her) teacher at school will tell them that it is false.

She is an actress = c'est une actrice (not: Elle est une actrice, absolutely not.)

As you can guess, I'm French.

And it is not a stupid question, sometimes answers can be stupid. This is a real (small) difficulty that some French people ignore or forget when they leave school a little too early.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hadesftfw

Merci!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karmagith
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"She is an actress = c'est une actrice (not: Elle est une actrice, absolutely not.)"

Par contre "elle est actrice" peut fonctionner aussi, n'est-ce pas?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RudyC.french

yes

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KANUBALA

il est un grand homme "; he is a tall man",

C'est un grand homme "; This is a tall man"

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/relox84
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"Il est un grand homme" although technically not incorrect, we never say that: il/elle/ils/elles are all replaced by ce when they are before être and a noun follows (as opposed to an adjective):

C'est un homme / Il est grand (he is a man / he is tall)

Ce sont des hommes / Ils sont grands (they are men / they are tall)

Also, adjective placement does have its importance here: "grand" with people means 'great' when it comes before the noun and 'tall' when it comes after:

Un grand homme = a great man
Un homme grand = a tall man

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DinglyDo

Wouldn't it have been "il est un homme grand" since nouns come before adjectives?

7 months ago

[deactivated user]

    Certain adjectives like grand change meaning whether they are placed before or after the noun. See relox84's post just above.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RudyC.french

    before it consolidate his place in society, after it is to specify his size

    6 months ago

    [deactivated user]

      In additional to BilingualQuebecr's suggestion, please read the grammar notes associated with Adjectives 1.

      https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Adjectives-1/tips-and-notes

      7 months ago

      [deactivated user]

        KANUBALA: Il est is not used in French in this context. Please see https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

        7 months ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/robin.fli
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        A lesson that has Tips and Notes that address this issue is with the Gaullicism unit. It's a usage that trips up a lot of non native speakers that don't have the same structure.

        7 months ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/jkidder

        It seems like you've got several votes for 1, but 4 might be better. Look at this: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/grand-tall-vs-great.968228/

        And for your second question, you can say "C'est un homme grand" or "Ceci est un homme grand".

        7 months ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/le_tra-jeudi

        word order: if the adjective describes B- beauty, A- age, N- number, G- goodness, or S- size, then it goes before the noun.

        7 months ago
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