"Il faisait beau."

Translation:The weather was beautiful.

April 2, 2013

97 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Chartreux

French idiom # 9,253,423 ;)p

January 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hexedd

So true!

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ozzychris

I don't have a problem with the make up of the sentence but I think 'it was fine' should be acceptable - don't you? Not according to the adjudicator.

July 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonardoPolly

I don't think so. Maybe you're right, but I think "it was fine" would be translated as "il allait bien" or "il était bien", never with the verb faire. Not sure, but I think "il faisait" will almost always mean either "He was making/doing" or something about the weather. see this: http://www.linguee.com/french-english/search?query=il+fait+beau

February 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ozzychris

Not so - the normal way to say it is a nice day uses 'faire' not 'être' i.e. Il fait beau.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonardoPolly

Yes... if you mean it's a nice sunny day, ok. But you said "it was fine" should be accepted. And it shouldn't, since that phrase doesn't make it clear that you're referring to a day.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ozzychris

Obviously this would be in the context of a discussion about the weather. On the other hand, in regard to your argument, I could say exactly the same thing. When taken out of context 'il allait bien' could be in response to the question "How is your brother?" "He is doing well".

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonardoPolly

If it depends so heavily on a context, it should be left out of duolingo, or the context should be included. Proposing "it was fine" for "Il faisait beau" in duolingo is a little confusing, to say the least, since this is a learning course.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/FisherLiz

Yep - I've just reported the same thing. Hope it works.

August 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Me too. 27th Mar 2014

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AGaudiau

For me, this idea can be translated into many sentiments in English. It was nice out, it was a nice day, the weather was nice, warm, pleasant, fine. All of these work for me.

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ozzychris

It was fine should be accepted

August 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/NatalyaJoly

Hi Chris! ;) I'm a French native. This one is a tricky one for sure! "Il fait beau" can only be use on the weather. Nothing else can "do beautiful", you can only "be, look, seem, etc., beautiful". But for the weather there is an exception.

It's almost like we implied that "mother nature made it beautiful today", we actually don't know who is the "il" in that sentence: god? mother nature? the sun? the force of the nature?

It's like when we say "il pleut" (it rains). Who rains? :p The verbe "Pleuvoir" (raining) is one of the only verbe in French that you can only use with "il". There is no "je pleux (I rain), tu pleux (you rain), etc.". It just doesn't exist (maybe in some romantic poem... but it would be for the purpose of art :p)

So it's kind of the same thing here with "il fait beau". You can only use that sentence for the weather. In no other context could you use that sentence.

So "it was fine" as you said, is more like: "Hey! How was the weather at the beach yesterday?"... "Meh... It was fine"

"It was fine" is translate as "C'était bien".... The situation was good, not necessarily the weather. Its the weather as a situation that was good.

Il fait beau, is only, strictly for the weather as: "It's sunny outside" or "What a nice day", etc.

I hope it helps and that my English is not too bad :p

May 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

Hi Natalya,

Those of us who are translating this as 'It was fine' perfectly understand that the French sentence is specifically referring to the weather. When we use the word 'fine' in the context of talking about the weather it specifically means sunny, enjoyable (beautiful) weather. This includes in official weather reports (where it would look a bit odd to talk about 'beautiful' weather).

So 'It was fine' should be accepted because it shows the respondent has understood the French sentence correctly and properly translated it into natural English. Just as there is no explicit mention of the weather in the French sentence nor should there have to be one in the English translation (where we also often omit it).

Of course, 'The weather was fine' should also be accepted. But no native English speaker is going to translate this French sentence as 'It was fine' without them understanding that is talking about the weather.

June 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ozzychris

Thanks Natalya - I knew it was only for the weather however I guess you're saying that it must be used in the present tense - eg the weather is fine (now).

May 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis

When talking about the weather (pronoun + faire + adjective) you can use any tense, but only « il » for the pronoun. If you are using it in the sense of making something or doing something (pronoun / noun phrase + faire + noun phrase) like "we make cakes" then you can use any pronoun and tense.

May 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NatalyaJoly

Yes, thank you CJ.Dennis, that's exactly correct :)

May 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jude4353

I put "it was beautiful" which was corrected to "it'd be beautiful" which doesn't seem correct

February 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JenCraven

We do occasionally use "would" in English for actions that happened repeatedly in the past. For example, we might say, "When I was a child, my uncle would read to me before bed." In the same way we'll occasionally use "will" to talk about repeated events in the present <-- look, I just did!

That said, it's a relatively rare, idiomatic, and redundant construction. I can see how "would be" might work as a translation for "faisait", but I still think "was" is better.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LeVieuxSieur

Actually you're wrong here in the sense that the use of will/would which you've described works only for non-state verbs (you can't use it with "to be, to have, ...", only with verbs which describe some action or habit). So, "it'd be beautiful" can't take the meaning of the habit in the past (at least not in the standard English), its only meaning is that of a conditional.

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

I'm not sure I understand properly, or maybe it's not that clear cut. Perhaps it is a regional thing or perhaps the language is changing and it's OK to use "would" with be and have (at least where I live) For example - "Oh yes, I remember him - he would always have a cup of tea with lemon, tip his hat and then leave." And we could say "We used to go on a picnic every Sunday. Invariably it would be a beautiful day/ or the weather would be perfect…" etc.

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LeVieuxSieur

In "to have a cup of tea" the verb "to have" does not have a meaning of possession, of owning something; rather, it serves here just as a grammatical part of the phrase. It means basically "to drink", so it's an action obviously. I agree with you that in this case it's a perfectly fine usage, it's not the state verb any more. Regarding the second example you gave, I don't have anything valuable to add here to the discussion :)

(My views expressed here are not my personal opinions on the subject, they are just a short summary of several online English grammar lessons on the topic. I'm looking forward to any eventual corrections and critiques here, I'd like to know too what's correct and what isn't).

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Ta - I was hoping you were a grammar "guru" (and I dont mean that rudely, I really do like to know) and could explain why those examples might work! I see what ypu mean about the have - I should have seen it before!! I don't whether the second example is something you would say/hear in your part of the world or not. I have seen the same recommendations about state verbs not being used with "would" but I think that in practice, it ain't necessarily so :) Having said that, it is probably best when learning to follow the "rules" (and then break them when you realise they can be broken)

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JenCraven

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for explaining!

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/66barbs

It'd surely means it would....is this not conditional!!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Aron89ification

"It was nice outside" Is this wrong?

March 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

It is a good way to describe a nice day in English. However it isn't what the French sentence says.

March 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Aron89ification

"It was nice out" was accepted......

March 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mattmuldoon

So... "he used to be beautiful" is totally wrong? How would this be said in French?

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Il est beau = he is handsome (so I suppose you could say beautiful since I don't think you can actually say IL est belle.)

So imperfect = Il était beau

passé composé = Il a été beau

Slightly different connotations with these two tenses. The imperfect is used for habitual actions in the past so nous allions = we used to go, so I think Il était beau is closer to what you are looking for. And il a été beau is more like "he was beautiful."

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SourireCache

Wow, good explanation. Merci beaucoup pour partager ça~

July 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

You're welcome. When the verb is faire it has to do with the weather and when you want to talk about a person being handsome or beautiful, you need être. Should have said that in the first place, but I'm guessing you understood :)

July 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LeVieuxSieur

I'm sorry but when describing a person in the past in this sense, you have to use l'imparfait, so Il a été beau would be wrong here. It has nothing to do with the habit, it's just the rule of French grammar, when making descriptions in the past, you should use l'imparfait

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Thanks - but are you sure it has to be the imperfect? There are numerous examples of "elle a été belle" when describing someone who has passed away (which is the sense of "she was beautiful" in English). If French is your native language, perhaps you are right….I will link this thread to some other French natives and see if we can find out for sure.

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

For a description in the past, the imparfait is really the most appropriate, and it is the one we'd use for smeone who passed away.

But, passé composé isn't wrong, its meaning is very different though. It would apply to some state that would apply only at a precise point in time : elle a été belle une seule journée dans sa vie. Or if referring to a very long time ago (e.g. another era) for someone still alive today : l'elfe Arwen a été belle il y a 10 000 ans, mais aujourd'hui, plus du tout.

You can see how unusual it could be when referring to people's attributes. ;-)

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

puppy7989, I searched some more about this topic, and here below are two resources that I found to make clearer the distinctions in use of imparfait and passé composé, for all types of verbs and situations. What seems evident is that passé composé mostly applies to brief or punctual events, which makes it very strange for people's or object's attributes, since these usually last in time. And as such, they are more natural with imparfait, unless we mean some very precise effect as the examples I gave in my previous answer.

An explanation on French learning site français facile

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Thanks Bastou - I was just a bit confused - There's lots of hits for "elle a été belle". Sometimes it is referring to something other than a person (eg summer) but many other examples seem to refer to a woman. perhaps it is an older usage (or otherwise incorrect) I thought it must have to do with the way a woman's beauty is no longer so you use "a été" to emphasise that it is no longer (but not neca=essarily 100,000 years) :) Thanks again !!

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ispyaspider

Why isn't it acceptable to say 'it was nice weather'?

February 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/66barbs

It was beautiful should be accepted!

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/adaitsman

Report it.

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Starchord

What's wrong with "It was good weather"?

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LauraDeaves

why can i not say "it was nice weather"?

February 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MlleBaeten

I put "It was nice" and was corrected with "It'd be nice" - when did 'faisait' (imperfect) become conditional?

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CestlaCinzia

totally wrong! The correct translation is: The weather was beautiful/fine.

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Then how would you say ...... the weather used to be beautiful/nice. (Without an elaborate reconstruction of the sentence)

I know translation services routinely translate the French imperfect into the simple past for English speakers, but that doesn't make it totally wrong to not do so. Sometimes, although rarely, even English speakers will use the imperfect.

You can't just brush aside the French imperfect and say it doesn't exist just because it isn't very common in English.

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CestlaCinzia

Dans le temps il faisait beau. Avant il faisait beau. English has no real, 100%-of-the-time equivalent to the French imperfect; the rest of the text gives context.

How would you translate: Il faisait beau toute la semaine derniere? The weather used to be nice last week?

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

But if il faisait beau doesn't mean it (the weather) used to be nice then how would you say the weather used to be nice without reconstructing the sentence as you did in your example.

You are saying that Duo is wrong because in your view faisait does not mean used to be. You say it means was. Not just that English speakers who are uncomfortable with the imperfect substitute the past tense, so simple French to English dictionaries do that as well. You are saying that Duo is wrong because there is no comparable imperfect tense word in English so the past tense has to be used, or that if there is a comparable imperfect tense word in English, faisait doesn't deliver it.

I am saying that the weather used to be nice is perfectly good English sentence. I am also saying that faisait provides that meaning. You say that faisait doesn't do that. That some other word has to be applied to say used to be or that you cannot sensibly say the weather used to be nice in English.

I can assure you that there are tens of thousands of English speakers in North America who are looking out their window right now and saying things like the weather used to be nice here. French speakers would say Il faisait beau ici

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

I think we are more surprised at the "It'd be beautiful" without any condition to make it conditional. Wouldn't that use the French conditional present? "Il ferait beau." I think in English idiom "It was beautiful." often replaces "It used to be beautiful." even when that last is the better choice, so both of those last should be accepted.

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

True that.

February 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CestlaCinzia

Well, I have just asked four bilingual French native speakers (two of which teach French in university) how to most naturally translate this phrase....guess what they all said!

February 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/adaitsman

Via email about five hours ago, sitesurf tells me that "It was beautiful weather" will now be accepted as a translation for "Il faisait beau."

February 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Yes, when you are translating the French imperfect into English the best thing to do is to use the English simple past, because usually that will suffice and that is the tense that English speakers routinely use.

My point is that if you want to learn to understand French it is a good idea not to simply ignore the tense the French uses and replace it with your preferred tense and treat it as if there is no difference.

There is nothing wrong with substituting the English past for the French imperfect because most of the time that makes for better comprehension. I do it myself much of the time when doing Duo exercises.

But it is a different thing to say that it is incorrect to translate the French imperfect into the English imperfect, simply because the result is sometimes awkward when used in casual conversation even when in the example given it is not awkward at all. This started with someone saying that the French imperfect is the English past and that it is wrong to suggest otherwise. It is not.

Don't ask your friends how they would translate the French imperfect into English for a more a natural phrasing. Ask them if the French imperfect is exactly the same thing as the English past.

February 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

adaitsman

Re: Duo will now accept the English past in this example.

As it should be as that is how most English speakers would say it.

February 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis

I wrote "It worked beautifully". Needless to say, it didn't!

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/tusharbajaj

the weather was beautiful???? is it some kind of phrase

April 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

If "faire" is being used with something like "beau" then it's a safe bet you're talking about the weather.

June 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wewantwhatwesee

It appears to be so. Il fait beau = The weather is good; Il fait mauvais = The weather is bad. I, too, was perplexed.

April 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JackYakov

can be "he made nicely" ?

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JenCraven

"It was sunny" seemed to me like the most natural English translation. What's wrong with that?

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

The weather was beautiful, the wind was gentle, the stars were shining, the moon was a golden color and it was nice and warm, just right for night skiing.

Il faisait beau doesn't say anything about the wind, the stars, the color of the moon, the temperature or night skiing.

Nor does it say anything about the sun. All it says is that, the in the opinion of the speaker, the weather was beautiful.

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Il faisait soleil/Il faisait DU soleil/Il y avait du soleil = It was sunny.

There seems to be a bit of variation with these three phrases amongst Francophones on different language forums, with many saying that Il y avait is more common, and that du soleil is never used (even though that is in almost every textbook for French learners and is correct according to larousse)

So if you want to specify sunny rather than a generally beautiful day, you can use one of those.

I hadn't thought of it, but as Northern guy says, it's "in the opinion of the speaker". Your beautiful day might not be the same as mine. If I love windy, overcast, rainy days, I may well describe such a day as beautiful, and I might find a sunny day unbearably glary and boiling hot so would never describe it as beautiful : )

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Especially if you were a sailor.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CalebDyer1

I translated this as "The weather was fair" why is this incorrect?

January 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ackworth

January 2015 - reported need to accept 'fine'

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/otisagabey

I am studying 4 other languages and French is the worst in Duo. Hints are either wrong or incomplete but corrections after misguidance are always spot on. Sometimes I wonder if it's deliberate

February 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LINHARS

Only two answers are acceptable here , but they are both wrong. This sentence means: 'The weather was nice'. If you say: ' Hier il faisait beau' it means 'Yesterday the weather was nice' , not 'yesterday the weather used to be nice', or 'yesterday the weather would be nice'.

This whole sequence with imparfait is impossible to do. To know the right translation, you have to see the sentence in a context, which is missing here.

February 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

The French prefer to use the imperfect and avoid the past. With English speakers, it is the other way around. They prefer to use the past when it is the imperfect that is intended, leaving it up to the reader/listener to figure out what really happened.

English speakers say the weather was beautiful until the cold front moved in.

French speakers say the weather used to be beautiful until the cold front moved in.

The English says simply that at one point the weather was beautiful and then a cold front moved in. The French says that the weather was beautiful for a noteworthy period and now no longer is because a cold front moved in. The English speaker intends the same thing as the French speaker but doesn't actually say it. He leaves it up to listener/reader to draw an obvious conclusion. Duo wants to know if you recognize the difference.

Il faisait beau = the weather used to be beautiful.

Mapping tenses across different languages is difficult and frustrating. But that is just how it is. That is why they are called foreign languages.

February 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CestlaCinzia

The imperfect cannot be mapped into English to always mean "used to".

Sometimes it does mean that. What's most important to understand the idea of description in the imperfect:

"The French imperfect (imparfait) is a descriptive past tense which indicates an ongoing state of being or a repeated or incomplete action."

But "used to" implies that something is no longer true. The imperfect doesn't.

March 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/666scav1

what about "he did good"?

March 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LordPaul256

This is one of those questions where I'm glad they removed the three strike system from Duolingo. If I lost one of my three hearts to getting this question wrong, I would have been upset.

March 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RudolphHucker

How can you assume 'weather' in that sentence without a context? It was fine can refer to anything.

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Simply put, no other context is possible in french. At least I can't see any. The only possible interpretation for "il fait beau" is about weather.

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/scucow

What about 'He made it beautiful / handsome'? Is that not a correct interpretation of the phrase?

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

No. First, there is no direct object (no "it") in the French sentence. Second, idiomatic expressions using the construction (impersonal) il fait [adjective] in French are always about ambiance/atmosphere/meteo : il fait chaud = "it's hot"; il fait soleil = "it's sunny"; il fait mauvais = "the weather is bad"...

Translating "He made it beautiful" would give Il l'a fait beau.

Edit : more information to talk about weather in French.

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/scucow

Thanks, that helps. There's no introduction to these concepts on the mobile version of duolingo, so this sort of clarification helps a lot.

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Lane973

I wrote "it was beautiful" and Duo marked it wrong because I missed the word "weather". It said the correct answer is "it was beautiful weather". I don't think "weather" is necessary. If someone says to me, "it was beautiful yesterday", I know they are talking about the weather.

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

It isn't necessary to include weather in the translation, unless you are trying to convince a computer that you understand that generally the comment by itself refers to weather.

Since Duo has no other way of marking answers and computers are notoriously bad for making human kind of judgements about what people really mean when they write something, you just have to expect that sort of thing.

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MrFebro

Why Il is so flexible concerning to its meaning? He? it? Whether? is it because of the context, right? Idiom?

March 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis

English has the word "it" which is a relic of the three-gendered system that English has come from and that most other Germanic languages still possess (masculine, feminine and neuter). English pronouns still use the Germanic system and some nouns are marginally gendered, e.g. "lion" & "lioness". However, English no longer has any gendered adjectives. The only time gender matters in English is when replacing a noun with a pronoun.

French, like most Romance languages, has two genders. This means it's not possible to map "he"/"she"/"it" perfectly to « il »/« elle ». So, in French, both « il » and « elle » can mean "it", with the choice of word determined by the gender of the word it's replacing.

When it comes to the weather, both English and French use a dummy pronoun meaning "it". "It's hot today" - « Il fait chaud aujourd'hui ». So, when « il »/« elle » refers to a person, it means "he"/"she". When « il »/« elle » refers to an object it means "it". The dummy pronoun is always masculine and singular in French, so the weather can't be « elle ».

March 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MrFebro

Thanks for the explanation, Dennis!

March 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ShenzyMarr

I don't think that (it was beautiful weather) is grammatically correct in English

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dufajjulie

In American English, we do use "out" at the end but often omit it, too. " But I guess it is the "out" that makes it clear we are talking about weather. Kudos and my sympathy to those who decide which answers to accept. It "ain't" easy ( to make an error we can ALL agree on)! English is evolving at a high rate, too. When I was in high school almost 40 years ago, you would be criticized for ending a sentence with a preposition or using "they" as singular, or even using " you" in place of the neutral "one."

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/geoff8407

You wouldn't say'out'in this context

April 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/David421526

I would like to say 'the weather was beautiful' but there is no option for 'the'

May 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Randonneur3

Because some of us mostly use 'fine' just for the weather, and never use the idiom 'fine out', 'It was fine' should suffice. (We are all so stupid about the weather sometimes : nice, lovely, beautiful, sunny. All highly subjective. )

May 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/margaret400859

why does the given answer include the word 'out'?

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

English speakers sometimes include out to ensure the listener understands that the weather being referred to is that weather right outside where they are speaking at that moment. Out changes the comment from a general comment on the weather to a signal to the listener to direct their attention to the nice weather happening at that moment.

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiset1

why is this one here instead of in the idioms?

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RosemarySp

it was fine' should be OK

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Cecilia5678

"It was a nice day." should be accepted since "Il fait beau" can be translated as "It's a nice day."

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerWorrall

The prononciation of faisait is not correct according to the french where I live France. It should fusait

September 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fierymac

English translation now is "it was beautiful out". I realise the intention is to make it specific to weather conditions, but I think having "out" at the end is an Americanism and certainly not a term I would use.

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Katherine188358

Why do we need to say "weather" when in reality people would get the context of weather by saying "It was beautiful."

November 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

You are correct (French) people would get the meaning. Duo wants to make you get the meaning.

November 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hugoago-go

It was great weather is also correct, but was rejected. Please amend.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaIramendy

is is wrong to say It was nice?

January 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaIramendy

What is wrong with the weather was nice?

January 2, 2019
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