Sitesurf, can you explain when one should use "ce" vs "ça"? They both seem to be pronouns representing it/that for the latter, and it/this/that for the former. Also, I am seeing that "ce" can be an adjective representing this and "ça" can be a noun representing ''id"? Many thanks!
1) "c'est" or "ce sont" use pronoun "ce"
"c'est" can be translated to "it is/this is/that is" in general, and also to "he is" or "she is" if followed by a modified noun: it is true = c'est vrai; she is my sister = c'est ma soeur.
"ce sont", as the plural version of "c'est", can translate "they are" if followed by a modified noun: they are not good friends = ce ne sont pas de bons amis.
2) "ceci", "cela" and its shortened version "ça" are pronouns
this/that bothers me = ceci/cela/ça m'ennuie
I hate this/that = je n'aime pas ceci/cela/ça
with verb "être", you don't use "ça" as a subject: that is my pen = c'est mon stylo (or emphatic: "ça, c'est mon stylo").
"ça" is used in many phrases: "that's it!" = "c'est ça !"; "how are you ?" = "comment ça va ?" or "ça va ?"
3) demonstrative adjectives modify nouns: ce, cet, cette, ces:
this/that dog is big = ce chien est gros (masc sing)
this/that man and this/that woman are tall = cet homme ("cet" replaces "ce" in front of a masculine word starting with a vowel or a non aspirate H) et cette femme sont grands.
these/those trees and these/those flowers are beautiful = ces arbres (masc) et ces fleurs (fem) sont beaux.
This sentence is awkward in French as well.
We don't use "concerner" to express what a book/film is about. The most frequent expressions are: "ce livre parle de..." or "le sujet de ce livre est..." or "le thème de ce livre est...".
A very frequent expression with verb "concerner" is "En ce qui concerne..." which translates to "When it comes to..."
In this usage, "concern" means to be about. See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concern, which gives an example very similar to our statement.
The reference http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/concern matches "concern" in English to "concerner" in French for the meaning of be about, regarding [sth]. To illustrate this meaning, it gives the following example:
My question concerns your recent statements about foreign policy.
Ma question concerne vos récentes déclarations sur la politique étrangère.
Yes, like "a horse can be a nice pet" for "horses can be nice pets".
In French: "un/le cheval peut être un animal familier agréable" / "les chevaux peuvent être des animaux familiers agréables".
We never use "des" (plural of un/une) for plural generalities.
However, "the book concerns a man/woman" cannot be a generality.
Is it possible to translate "le livre concerne une femme" as "the book concerns a woman" in the sense that the book causes a woman to be concerned , or worried. Another example of similar usage might be: "It concerns me that he is always late." Or perhaps the French verb "concerner" does not have the dual meaning that it does in English?
A trusted francophone (above) has said that "concerner" is not used to express what a book is about. That would be "Ce livre parle de ...." or "Le sujet de ce livre est ...." or "Le thème de ce livre est ...."
"Concerner" is not a direct equivalent of the English "concern". http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/concerner/17764