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  5. "He is in the building's entr…

"He is in the building's entrance."

Translation:Il est dans l'entrée du bâtiment.

March 31, 2013



It is still unclear for me when I have to use "il est" and "c'est". In this exercise the correct answer is "il est dans l'entrée du bâtiment" and I was marked wrong with "c'est dans..." Anyone can explain this to me please?


"il" can be "he" or "it" : a man , or an inanimate thing or an animal is in the building's entrance.

But if the English is "he", you have no choice: a man is there.

"he is..." turns to "c'est..." ONLY if followed by a modified noun, ie an article (or possessive or demonstrative) + a noun describing what the person is:

Please take a look at this: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est


I followed that link, and it reinforced things I feel I already knew; but it didn't help me understand the times that are WRONG to use c'est.

I found this link - http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/grammar/c_est_il_est.shtml - of more use. However, it seems to suggest that while c'est would be technically wrong on this sentence (because of the clause that follows), it is common in everyday use.


"c'est" is wrong in this sentence, not because of the clause that follows but because "he is" is not followed by a modified noun.


i used to have that problem but not anymore (i think) just remember you use c'est if the next word is a noun that requires articles like la, le, un or une as well as when followed by an possesive like mon, ton, etc.


Why do we have to write "du bâtiment", and not "de bâtiment"? The sentence has already stated that the subject is in the entrance ("l'entrée"). "Du bâtiment" looks like it says: "He is in the entrance of the building".


it is indeed "entrance of the building", and "of the" = du (de+le = du)


can i use "au" instead of "dans" ? and would the meaning change ?


I would suggest that "à l'entrée du bâtiment" is close to the entrance (at the entrance) whereas "dans l'entrée du bâtiment" suggests that there is some wide enough space after the entrance door for someone something to be "dans/in" it.


Doesn't édifice also mean building? Why is "Il est dans l'entree de l'édifice" not an acceptable answer?


yes, you can say so, or else "un immeuble".


That is accepted now (10Mar14)


Why is it not "du edifice"?


"du" is not used in front of word starting with a vowel or a non aspirate H: it becomes "de l' "

de l'édifice


why "du bâtiment" instead of "de la bâtiment. "


un bâtiment is masculine.


so de le bâtiment


I thought we were not to use the definite article while expressing possessives..?


Don't you remember "the boy's dog" = le chien du garçon ?

"Du" (de+le), "de la" and "des" (de+les) are used in possessive cases, as well a d'un, d'une, de":

  • le chien de la voisine, des voisins
  • le chien d'un garçon, d'une fille, d'amis


J'ai pensé que "building" était aussi utilisé par les français.


I put "Il est dans l'entrée d'immeuble". Is this wrong?


The building is specific, hence "dans l'entrée de l'immeuble.

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