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  5. "He is certainly my son."

"He is certainly my son."

Translation:C'est certainement mon fils.

December 25, 2012

28 Comments


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

Is "Il est..." really incorrect here?


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

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".


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


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

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


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


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

I think it is time for you to read this: click here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mphoenix12e

And yet, I just used "il est..." and it was accepted! Aaarrgh! Thank you for the link. It is very helpful.


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


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


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


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

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


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

Ah, this link is splendid!


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

Thank you! Wonderful site!


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

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.


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

A rare occurrence, and not in spoken French though. It is not incorrect but it sounds odd.


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


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

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


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

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!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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)?


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

"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'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianParr9

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?


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yab401

pourqoi pas: "il est mon fils certainement?"


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yab401

merci, it is very helpfull


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gordon964264

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

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