"He is certainly my son."

Translation:C'est certainement mon fils.

December 25, 2012

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/slaggart
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Is "Il est..." really incorrect here?

December 25, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Faranae
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When a noun (here, "fils") is modified, "c'est" is used, rather than "il est". Here, "mon" modifies "fils". "Un" would also be a modifier of "fils".

February 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/peachacid

So, for he is a son, it would be, "Il est un fils"? It's because son is modified with my that it's c'est?

October 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, modifiers can be articles or possessive and demonstrative adjectives as well.

he is the son I wish I had = c'est le fils que j'aurais aimé avoir

he is my son = c'est mon fils

he is that boy I met the other day = c'est ce garçon que j'ai rencontré l'autre jour

October 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SaintSlimJim

I think this is my biggest struggle yet with French....c'est vs il est. Is there a explanation to what a "modifier" actually is?! The word "fils" isn't modified (changed) in any way and I'm not sure what words around it are considered to be modifying it or not modifying it. Comments above say that "mon" and "un" can modify the noun....but then go on to say that "Il est un fils" is correct. If "un" modifys then it should be c'est un fils?

March 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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I think it is time for you to read this: click here

March 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mphoenix12e
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And yet, I just used "il est..." and it was accepted! Aaarrgh! Thank you for the link. It is very helpful.

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/asif_m

@peachacid « C'est un fils » is correct and « Il est un fils » is incorrect.

Faranae meant to say that both "mon"and "un" are modifiers -- so the same rule applies.

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Unfortunately, I've seen the rules in this link bent more than once. Maybe there's a reason behind all of those exceptions but I've found that to be one of the less reliable about.com links. Many a heart lost trying to apply it.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/asif_m

I agree. It's not the best explanation. Another link Sitesurf shared in a different place is better, in my opinion: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Yes, frenchtoday.com is a great site all around.

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LaDiDana
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Ah, this link is splendid!

April 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/frenchwol

Thank you! Wonderful site!

May 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dcounts
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Just to confuse you (and me) further, I used "Il est..." and Duo marked it correct. 10.21.17. This may be one of those times when either is acceptable.

October 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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A rare occurrence, and not in spoken French though. It is not incorrect but it sounds odd.

October 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/camelsbane

Absolument > certainly > certainement > surement > probablement > maybe BUT, if Certainement is given the emphasis by being placed up front (very ancient Gaul imoho), it might even beat Absolutely - refer Sitesurf's 'Of Course' above !

March 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alishatri

why can't i say "Certainement c'est mon fils." ??

January 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Contrary to logic, "certainement" is not "more certain" than "probablement/probably, sûrement/ surely", etc. at least when it is placed as in this sentence, ie after the verb.

However, if you place "certainement" up front, with a comma, the certainty becomes absolute:

Certainement, c'est mon fils (!), like "of course, he is my son!"

January 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Evangeline.Rose

Is that also true any time you separate the "certainly" from the main clause? For instance, if it is placed at the end instead of the beginning (c'est mon fils certainement)?

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"c'est mon fils certainement" is not a certainty. You can hear is in situations like:

Q: Qui a fait ça ? - A: C'est mon fils, certainement!

In this case, chances are that it was indeed my son who did it, but it remains just 'highly probable'.

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianParr9
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I do not understand why my answer "c'est mon fils certainement" wasn't accepted. I have not seen a written rule about the placement of "certainement". Can somebody explain?

August 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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This adverb could travel and be placed at the front, at the end or after the verb.

Its most natural placement is after the verb: "c'est certainement mon fils".

The back translation can be either "he is certainly my son" (because I was dating his mother 9 months before his birth, for instance); or "it is certainly my son" (as an answer to a question like: who did that?)

If you displace it, you add a specific stress on the adverb and can express a slight shift in meaning:

certainement, c'est mon fils ! (with a comma and an exclamation mark) = of course, it/he's my son!

c'est mon fils, certainement (with a comma) = "he/it's my son, certainly" Then the meaning is closer to "probably" with the same interpretations as when the adverb is after "c'est", but with a reduced certainty.

August 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/yab401
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pourqoi pas: "il est mon fils certainement?"

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The adverb's best placement is after the verb.

And also "il est mon..." should be changed to "c'est mon...": http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/yab401
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merci, it is very helpfull

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gordon964264

In another exercise "certainement" was marked wrong for certainly. "Parfaitement" was required. So I used that in this sentence. Marked wrong ???????????

February 13, 2019
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