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  5. "His letter is good."

"His letter is good."

Translation:Sa lettre est bonne.

April 7, 2013



Bonne worked for me


"Bonne" also works and is accepted. Consider that "bon/bonne" is usually an adjective and when modifying a noun it means good, suitable, efficient, correct, useful, etc. "Bien" is usually an adverb but it may also be used as an adjective (only with a linking, i.e., copular, verb, such as être) to mean good, moral, right, healthy, etc. Tricky? Yes. Here are a few examples:

  • il est bon étudiant = he is a good student
  • il est bien comme étudiant = he is a good student

Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/bon-vs-bien-1368817


Could anybody explain briefly when to use "bien" and when "bon/bonne"?


Bien is used when you are referring to a verb - He throws well - il jete bien.
Bon/bonne are used when you are referring to a noun, which are either masculine or feminine, so the modifier (good) needs to be masc or fem also.

The wine is good...LE vin est bon.
The beer is good...LA biere est bonne.
If you are talking about something that uses le or la, un or une, masculin or feminine, you have to use bon or bonne if you want to say it is good.


This sounds like the misuse of "good" to mean "well."

"How are you doing?"

"Good." (Well)


Isnt bien an adverb then? Therefore, the exercise is wrong!


My French friend explained to me that "bon" is typically used to describe food and drink, but you can use "bien" to mean good for pretty much anything else.


'bien' is an adverb, while 'bon' and 'bonne' are adjectives, how come you use an adverb in this sentence?


'Bien' can be an adjective. It can only be used as an adjective with copular verbs such as être, however.


bien is femeinine and masculine?


Yes because bien means well like He sees well. (He does not need glasses). Bon and bonne (bons and bonne's) mean good, like the dress looks good, or his haircut looks good.


Ok, im not to good in general in terms of french, but why does "son " not count?


Because lettre is a feminine noun, so you have to use sa, NOT son


So how do you show that the letter belongs to a male not a female? I get that the possessive refers to the object, but how do you identify the gender of the subject?


You don't. In context, you would know if it was your mom's letter or your dad's. But lettre is a féminine non so it is sa lettre.


Her letter is good = Sa lettre est bien = His letter is good?


I think the cause of the confusion with "bien" and "bonne" has to do with the fact that French has formalized some aspects of the language where English has not. For example, most people in normal English speech say "it's me" rather than "It is I." However, it is not accepted in formal English. French does the same thing, "c'est moi." They reclassified the pronoun into a special class, I think, but it's clearly from an accusative root. It is accepted, it seems, in formal usage. In English there is also some well/good confusion although it may sound "good" to me, it's technically incorrect. It looks as though French has formalized the same discrepancy in the opposite way: sometimes you can use an adverb as an adjective.


There was no "bonne" available to me when I completed this sentence. Only "bon" and I know it is la lettre. So It was marked wrong. Zut! P.S. Would "Sa lettre est bien" work?

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