To FRENCH language experts, when do you use "IL EST" instead of "C'EST" when refering to a thing not a person?

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  • Maya
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    C'est un grand appartement=it's a big flat

    Comment est cet appartement? (How is that flat?). Il est grand. (it's big).

    Qu'est-ce que tu penses de ce pull gris? (What do you think about this grey pull-over?)

    Il est moche.(it's ugly)

    Qu'est-ce que tu penses des pull-overs gris?

    C'est moche. (it's ugly)

    Il is used as a defined personal pronoun (the same way as you use "he" or "she" for people in English, we do the same thing for things in French). Ce (c') is used as a neutral pronoun.

    So, you use "il" if you really want to talk especially about THIS thing.

    This pull-over : it's ugly

    Ce pull-over : Il est moche

    And you use ce(c') to talk about it in general

    grey pull-over : it's ugly

    Les pull-over gris : c'est moche.

    In a sentence as "It's an ugly pull-over", we always use "c'est" for things such as people, because it's a demonstrative structure.

    "C'est un pull-over moche"; "C'est une jolie fille" (it's a pretty girl), but "Il est moche" (it's ugly); "Elle est jolie" (she's pretty).

    We can't say, as in English, "She's a pretty girl", we always say "it's a pretty girl" (C'est une jolie fille) and it works all the same with things. There are no grammatical differences to talk about things or people in French : the thing is a masculine word? Talk about it as if it was a boy. It's a feminine word? Talk about it as if it was a girl.

    Just pay attention. C'est beau/c'est moche/c'est grand....(it's beautiful, ugly, big) for example, can not be used for people.

    Source(s): Native
  • baremp
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    When I am referring to someone I wold say "IL est tres intelligent"=

    He is very intelligent.

    When I want to say: It is time to cut the grass I would say : C'est le temp our tond le gazon.

    Those are two examples of the way we use the language.

  • 1 decade ago

    " il est" is more suitable for a person and is present time

    "C'est" is more for an object (thing) and is also present time

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