https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fu-Gee-La

il, le, or ça?

I know that « il » doesn't necessarily refer to a person and can act as a placeholder, e.g. « il mange une araignée » is translated as "it eats a spider". Duo has also given me the sentence « il le connaît » meaning "he knows it", so « le » can act as a placeholder too.

Also, google translates « ça » as "it".

So my question is; how do we know when to use « il », « le », and « ça » ?

September 28, 2018

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MasterZsword

If a noun directly follows a verb, then you would use a direct object pronoun. Direct object pronouns include le, la, l', me, te, nous, vous, les.

Il le connaît = He knows it/him.

Il les connaît = He knows them.

The pattern continues.

I don't really know about the ça example. I do know that "il" can be used as "he" or "it", but I don't know the rules in which "c'est" would be more preferred than "il est".

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ValSell

When followed by un homme, une femme etc, always use c'est, never Il est, elle est. In other words always say c'est une..., c'est un...

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemniscatarum

There's a skill in the French tree explaining this. Here's the link: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Gallicism%3Ail-elle-OR-c-ce/tips-and-notes

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carmen807459

Someone else on Duo once led me to this link: https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

Essentially, one uses « c'est » when a noun follows, and « il est » when an adjective follows. There are exceptions, of course, which the article discusses in greater detail.

September 28, 2018
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