Is there a rule for when "à" should appear in a sentence like this? I'm not sure when the "to" is implied by the infinitive form of the verb and when it isn't.
Yes, when the construction is impersonal:
c'est facile à lire (c' is a real subject, representing a book, an article, etc.)
il est / c'est facile de lire ce livre (impersonal)
ce livre est facile à lire (real subject)
"à" is attached to facile when the subject is a real thing you're talking about. (A personal subject), but when it's like a general case it's used with "de" (this case is an impersonal subject)
At least that's my understanding of it.
Not all adjectives, but a number of them, including idioms:
- ce garçon est bête à pleurer (dumb as a bag of hammers)
Is there an easy way to remember when it's ce vs c'est? I keep struggling with this for some reason
If I understand your question: "ce" comes in front of a noun, because it is a single adjective (this book)
But c'est livre can also mean 'this book." I'm trying to figure out when c'est livre would be used instead of ce livre and vice versa.
No, "c'est livre" would mean "this is book" and it does not work in either language.
this book = ce livre
this is a book = c'est un livre
this is the book = c'est le livre