"I am a man and she is a woman."
Translation:Je suis un homme et c'est une femme.
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"Elle est une ..." is not correct French.
You have to use "c'est" when the noun has an article before it (une, un, le, la, or l').
Good examples on use to use "c'est" vs "il est" (singular) / "ce sont" vs "ils sont" (plural) can be found here:
The table on the link isn't intuitive, but after a few minutes study, the point is clear. Since this is a modified noun ('une' femme), we use "c'est" instead of "elle est" as an arbitrary rule of speech. Nearly every French noun has an article in front of it, which would mean that we would always be using c'est, so it needs to be clear that we speaking about the modification of a third-person subject. Otherwise, the rule as specified would render "je suis un homme" into "c'est un homme" because "you have to use 'c'est' when the noun has an article before it".
Hi, there is a good explanation in this link:
Sorry - I did not see an explanation at french.about.com that explains how the second half of this sentence contains a modified noun . What is it modified by? The first half? Were they two stand alone sentences would they then be - "Je suis un homme." and "Elle est une femme."? Thank you.
I guess the rule applies only when you refer to someone or something. When you talk about yourself you cannot use it (normally). Then it's "je suis un homme" or "je suis musicien". And here is a topic about articles with one's profession, it may be useful too: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/5536
The explanation provided refers to a modified noun not verb, and in each case the noun has a gender distinction and is not modified.
The explanation at about.com looks like this:
Unmodified noun Modified noun Il est avocat. C'est un avocat. (He's a lawyer.) (He's a lawyer.)
Elle est actrice. C'est une bonne actrice. (She's an actress.) (She's a good actress.)
In the second example the noun is clearly modified by the adjective bonne. But I fail to see how it's modified in the first example. The English is exactly the same in both cases!
Thanks again all.
Only the 3rd person singular plural have to follow this rule.
"Je suis avocat." (Less idiomatic and frequent: "Je suis un avocat.")
"Tu es avocat." (Less idiomatic and frequent: "Tu es un avocat.")
"Il est avocat." (or: "C'est un avocat").
"Nous sommes avocats." (Less idiomatic and frequent:
"Nous sommes des avocats.")
"Vous êtes avocats." (Less idiomatic and frequent: "Vous êtes des avocats.")
"Ils sont avocats." (or: "Ce sont des avocats.")
"C'est" is used when the noun has an article ("le", "la", "l'", "un" or "une") or a possessive ("mon", "ma"...) before it.
- For example: "c'est un homme" or "c'est ma femme" (and not: "elle est ma femme").
So "c'est" can have several translations:
"C'est un homme" = "He(/This/That/It) is a man"
"C'est un chat" = "This(/That/It) is a cat"
The reply to your first questions has already been given in the comments above:
you have to use "c'est" when there is an article (une, un, le, la, or l') or a possessive (mon/ton/son, ma/ta/sa, notre/votre/leur) before the noun.
So you have to say "c'est une femme" (not "elle est une femme").
The suggestion in your second question is already accepted as a correct translation. Thanks!