C’est bon, c’est chaud, c’est beau…They could translate as “this is good, hot, pretty” but are often translated as “it’s good, hot, pretty” since that’s what you’d say in everyday English (Hence students thinking “c’est = it is” in English). To describe a thing, you could use both a “il est” or “c’est” construction: To make a live comment, react to something, share your experience, we use the construction “c’est + adjective masculine singular”. He is a dreamer, he is a bit shy, but he is a good friend. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. They can mean "this is," "that is," "it is," "they are," and even "he/she is." First, c’est + adjective masculine singular is never going to be used to describe a person (or an animal). Home > French Words > French Phrases > YOU ARE HERE. Normal pronunciation International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA): /kɛ-s kə sɛ ?/ Qu'est-ce que c'est meaning Il est chez nous depuis presque trois semaines car la grand-mère d’Olivier est en vacances. Il est en train de jouer avec une bouteille en plastique vide.He is a friendly dog. He’s my cousin. However, if you use my way, and never say “il est un” or “elle est une”, you won’t make any mistake. The sea, it’s always beautiful. With Reverso you can find the French translation, definition or synonym for c'est and thousands of other words. However it tends to no longer be used, and sounds quite old-fashioned now.I never use it personally unless I say “il était une fois”: once upon a time.So I suggest you don’t either! He is playing with an empty plastic bottle.C’est (adjective that comes before the noun!!) C’est quand ton anniversaire ? So what counts in French is not the “it, she, he or they” but the fact that what follows the verb is a NOUN or an ADJECTIVE. Get ready to learn all the things you want to know about the basic French sentence “Qu’est-ce que c’est”. Learn more. 3.1 Pronunciation 3.2 Letter 3.2.1 See also 4 Basque 4.1 Pronunciation 4.2 Letter 4.2.1 Usage notes 4.2.2 See also 5 Catalan 5.1 Pronunciation 5.2 Letter 5.2.1 See also 6 French 6.1 Letter 6.1.1 Usage notes 7 Portuguese 7.1 They are very tall. Grammar decides which construction you need to use! Do not lose yourself in the literal translation, it’s not worth it. And now, here is the English translation and the explanation for why I used “c’est” and “il est”. So, now that you are totally confused, let’s dig into this big French mess…. It’s a changing element. Il n’est pas riche, mais il est passionné (il est + adj). C: Comment sont vos tartes ? (c’est + category = adj masculine singular) Pies are tasty!W: Oui, et nos tartes, elles sont vraiment délicieuses (il est + adj). French pronunciation dictionary Search and learn to pronounce words and phrases in this language (French). Watch this short video below, and read the description in French. As you know, some French adjectives come before the noun; grand, petit, joli, jeune, vrai, bon, mauvais… There are also the possessive, demonstrative, interrogative adjectives (my, this, which…). How to translate “it/ he/ she is” + noun or adjective in French. Cognate with Icelandic á… Yes, and our pies, they are really delicious. pronouncekiwi - How ToC'est … C’est le docteur. Il est généralement calme et obéissant. It might not be the big picture, but it’s practical. You are standing in front of the bay of Cassis, and are overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape. Available for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. Can You Understand Today’s Spoken French? I feel your pain… This is incredibly complicated… I really wish I could make it all simpler, but I can’t… This is why when to us “il est” versus “c’est” is one of the most difficult things to develop a sense for in French. He is a good musician. Are you ready to discover the 5-step process to become fluent in French? I know this doesn’t “strictly” follow the construction “c’est + noun”… but you have to be smart about it and understand it’s a particular case. Il n’est pas marié (il est + adj). That’s what’s tricky in French. C’est un élément changeant (c’est + noun). A book is a “he”, a car a “she”… “il” ou “elle”. C’est un teckel à poils durs (wire hair dachshund). It is a dog. Well, you have to see if the adjective is followed by a noun, or if it is alone. But it’s often wrong. "Hello all! il vient _de_ Londres he comes _from_ London c'est mon ami _de_ York he's my friend _from_ York il a sauté _de_ la fenêtre he jumped _from_ the window Use to show possession or belonging In this case, of is sometimes a possible translation, although the most usual equivalent in English is to use a possessive form with 's or, particularly with a common combination of inanimates, with a compound: But the sea of the Greek islands, it’s particularly gorgeous. he / she / it  is + noun (a friend, a dog…). Voici Festnoz – c’est le chien de la grand-mère d’Olivier. This is my friend Peter. The adjective is ALWAYS masculine singular. It is green. It has been around the world and back as a mainstay in dozens of cultures. I simply designate my mobile phone. You say: Now this being said, “c’est + adjective masculine singular” is way overused in French nowadays… Maybe because it’s so easy to pronounce… It glides nicely :-) Whatever the reason, we use it all the time, even when a “il est” construction would be more appropriate…, Look for the French articles (un, une, du, de la, de l’, des, le, la, l’, les). Elle est verte. When used as nouns, they needs a companion word (article, possessive or demonstrative adjectives….). So what should you do when you have a sentence with one of these adjectives? C'est mon portable. French students translate he is = il est, c’est = it is. If you don’t understand, I suggest you read the article above one more time! Elles sont riches et copieuses (il est + adj). Voilà, see it’s not that complicated after all :-) I suggest you bookmark this page to find it easily, and if you liked this article, you may click on the tag “grammar” located by the title to access more grammar articles, or follow the suggestions below. Listen to the audio pronunciation of C'est les Vacances on pronouncekiwi Sign in to disable ALL ads. This construction is also used to make comments about something as a category: You are talking about the Mediterranée: you could say. C = [“sss”] in front of e, i, y “C” sounds like “sss” in front of the vowels e, i, y And that’s why it’s so complicated! Like I would say … Another case in which a liaison must be made in French is after the impersonal il est and c’est. This simplified chart will help with French pronunciation, which can be difficult due to intricacies like silent letters and endless exceptions to rules. he / she / it  is + adjective (intelligent). He is tall and has brown hair. Mais la mer des Iles grecques, elle est particulièrement belle (il est + adj).The sea is blue. What matters is what comes next: a noun or an adjective. Nouns of nationality etc… can be used as adjectives in French. Revise and improve your French with detailed content, examples, audio, personalised practice tests and learning tools Note that ce is used with the verb être as follows: in its singular form, c'est, means it is /this is /that is, and in its plural form, ce sont, means they are /these are /those are. C’est un gentil chien. Listen to the audio pronunciation in the Cambridge English Dictionary. Learning in context is always the thing to do! This lesson is about translating “he/she/it is” + noun or adjective. All these variations have the same meaning. How to say c'est la vie. So now, let’s have many examples with explanations. Let’s go! It is black. And it cannot be used in all situations. Free French lesson + examples. A simple explanation of "C'est, ce sont = this is, these are (demonstrative pronouns)". 6 – C’est + Adjective Always Masculine Singular, 9 – French Adjectives Which Come Before the Noun, 10 – Nouns of Profession, Nationality, Religion, 11 – Examples With Explanations of C’est Versus Il est, 12 – Fun Exercise For “Il est” Versus “C’est” – Video, 2  – It is + Place, It is + Time and Other Expressions, 3 – He / She / It Is /  They Are In English, 4 – He / She / It Is In French = C’est, Ce Sont, Il / Elle Est, Ils / Elles Sont, I highly recommend you check out my unique downloadable, French articles (un, une, du, de la, de l’, des, le, la, l’, les). Ils sont américains. They’re home made pies. Quelle heure est-il ? C’est Camille! English Translation of “c’est” | The official Collins French-English Dictionary online. When you want to ask “What is it?” simply ask “Qu’est-ce que c’est ?” or “C’est quoi ?” or “C’est quoi ça ?“. Look at the number of comments on this article! He is not married. French, like English, can be very difficult in terms of pronunciation, due to intricacies like silent letters, multiple sounds for a single letter, and endless exceptions to whatever rules you find. * Which one to use depends less on meaning than it does on grammar. If you have an article, it’s going to be followed by a noun. Well, in French, we use 2 different constructions. Our French word of the day is 'C'est un' Thinking what it means? I've always thought it was say, but my French teacher tends to say set? French pronunciation 1,409 views 0:18 How to pronounce Quelle heure est il - Duration: 0:14. C’est son jouet préféré. You can see “Qu’est ce que” as a long and complex way to say “What“. But it’s now used only in formal French, so much so that it now sounds “wrong” in spoken French. In English, you say s/he is a friend, s/he is intelligent. Learn more here. English Translation of “c’est” | The official Collins French-English Dictionary online. They are rich and hearty.C: Est-ce qu’elles sont chères (il est + adj) ? We have no way of knowing. He is a charming man. When they are used as an adjective (without modifier), use “il/elle est”. Enchaînement is the phenomenon whereby the consonant sound at the end of a word is transferred to the beginning of the word that follows it. C’est un chien. Over 100,000 English translations of French words and phrases. Even better “Qu’est-ce que c’est que cette chose-là” which means “What is this thing?” and is literally translated as “What is this that this is this thing here?“, But both are perfectly correct in French… this language is crazy…, If you want to learn French but don’t know how, there is a solution…. The trick is to keep in mind that “Qu’est ce que” = “What” in this situation and “C’est ?” = “Is it?“. C’est une grande fille. I highly recommend you check out my unique downloadable French audiobooks, featuring different speeds of recording and enunciation, and focussing on today’s modern glided pronunciation, exclusively on sale on French Today. Festnoz, lui, il n’est pas très bruyant. That’s Camille! Over 100,000 English translations of French words and phrases. Il est petit. The use of “c’est + adj masculine singular” is getting increasingly popular in France: we use it all the time! Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. You cannot always translate “he is” by “il est” and “it is” by “c’est”.Both “il est” and “c’est” can translate as “it is” and “he is”. Adverbs (like “très”) don’t count. First, let’s see what you do in English. C’est un homme charmant (c’est + noun). Before the noun, there could be an article or even an adjective. Voici mon ami Pierre. You cannot always translate “he is” by “il est” and “it is” by “c’est”.Both “il est” and “c’est” can translate as “it is” and “he is”. Learn more. How to say c'est la vie. Experience how different and efficient our method is. It’s of course useful to understand the grammatical logic behind the choice of “c’est versus il/elle est”, but ultimately, you need to develop a sense for it, “hear” what is right or wrong. The plural of “c’est” is “ce sont” but we don’t use it much in spoken French. First, let’s define the purpose of this lesson. C'est pas trop tôt ! So you use: In English, what matters is whether you are describing a feminine, masculine, or neutral being. Thank you for helping build the largest language community on the internet. Est-ce que vous pensez qu’il est mignon ? She/it is French. Il est chez nous depuis presque trois semaines car la grand-mère d’Olivier est en vacances.He’s been at our place for almost three weeks because Olivier’s grandma is on vacation.Il est + location (prime meaning of the verb to be).Être en vacances = expression. Both il est and c’est can translate as he/it is. And that’s why it’s so complicated! Includes a pronunciation table exact pronunciation french pronunciation key silent letters. 5 – C’est Versus Il est = You Cannot Rely on Translating! Il est en train de jouer avec une bouteille en plastique vide. This is generally translated as: “What is it?” or “What is that?“. pronunciation C'est pas trop tôt ! Je ne suis pas dans mon assiette | Meaning & Examples. C’est un rêveur (c’est + noun), il est un peu timide (il est + adj), mais c’est un bon copain (c’est + noun). The full variation of this expression is “Qu’est-ce que c’est que ça ?” which means “What is it?” but the literal translation is “What is this that this is that this?“. It’s your emotion that comes through: you are describing a situation more than a specific thing. From French c'est “ it is ”), compare Haitian Creole se. Jouer avec une bouteille, c’est bruyant. c'est génial ! Watch out that the adjective cannot be in another gender/number ; c’est belle is not possible, even if you are looking at “la mer”(the sea). Il est onze heures. which is much simpler, shorter and neutral. It’s not just slang. C’est un bon musicien (c’est + noun). translation in French - English Reverso dictionary, see also 'génital',gentil',général',génie', examples, definition, conjugation With Reverso you can find the French translation, definition or synonym for c'est génial ! So, as you can see with these examples, you cannot rely on the English translation. Now, if you wanted to say “he is an intelligent Frenchman”, Frenchman cannot be an adjective in this instance because you have another adjective there (intelligent). c'est la vie pronunciation. Il/elle est + adjective qualificative (plural ils/elles sont), C’est + (article, adjective possessive or demonstrative…) +  NOUN, Regarde Pierre! Cambridge Dictionary +Plus My profile +Plus help … 2.5 hours recorded at 3 different speeds. 2 Ça, c'est mon portable (please note the coma after ça) I emphasize that the object (I'm probably pointing at … The construction demands a masculine singular adjective! To achieve this, there is nothing like learning French in context. The French everybody speaks in France today is NOT the overly enunciated, extremely formal French usually taught to foreigners. Study the grammatical constructions of the sentences below (the nouns are in bold): compare the French use of “il est” versus “c’est” to the English translation. So let’s start with a summary of c’est versus il est. She is a friend. Both c'est and il est are well-used French sayings that date back centuries. C’est mon cousin. C’est toujours beau (c’est + category = adj masculine singular), la mer. English Translation of “c’est ça” | The official Collins French-English Dictionary online. Pronunciation guide: Learn how to pronounce c'est in French with native pronunciation. Are they expensive?W: Non, elles ne sont pas chères (il est + adj). French pronunciation # C’est avec plaisir - Duration: 0:18. Elle est violette. For more variations, check the “synonyms” section below. No, they’re not expensive.C: Les tartes, c’est bon ! How are your pies?W: Ce sont des tartes faites maison (c’est + noun). As indicated, the liaison is compulsory in what follows: Il est évident is pronounced: il est.T.évident (it’s obvious) C’est amusant is In French, the letter c (= which is pronounced “cé” = [“say”]) has two main pronunciations in a word or a sentence. Can you figure out why I use “il est” or “c’est”? She’s a tall girl. Including a full guide of what it is and how to use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. In French, the expression C’est la vie is pronounced /se.la.vi/. He/it is nice. C’est quand ? This rule is not easy for English speakers: it’s already hard enough to refer to a thing by him or her, it is even harder to use “c’est” + a person: it sounds in English like you are saying ‘it’s’ + person… very very bad…. Elle est française. Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Elles sont très grandes. Would you like to hear Elton John sing in French? You also need to remember there is no “it” in French. La mer est bleue. ☃️ WINTER SALE – 20% OFF ALL AUDIOBOOKS ENDS DEC 18th. Then you use “he / she / it” or even “they” and the appropriate verb form of “to be”. Check out this video on YouTube (merci Mark S. for the suggestion!). Get Started for Free Hopefully that will clear things up. But that’s not all, we also sprinkled useful informations like synonyms, slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more! Ready to learn? + nounÊtre en train de + verb = to be in the process of doing, to be doing, C’est son jouet préféré.It’s his favorite toy.C’est + (adjective that comes before the noun) + noun. Now, the construction “il est un…” is not wrong. The French letter 'C' is a lot like the 'C' in English. Nouns of profession, nationality, religion… can also be used as adjectives in French – only if there is no other adjective describing them. Is it pronounced say or set? Click here for more about cats and dogs vocabulary in French illustrated with a Minecraft in French video ! We have the place to ourselves pronunciation We have the place to ourselves Nous avons l'endroit pour nous pronunciation Nous avons l'endroit pour … If feel lost, you are not alone! Il était une fois un roi et une reine qui vivaient heureux dans un beau château. It is, This is, He is The French expressions c’est and il est can be tricky because they are synonymous but not interchangeable. A detailed lesson on French enchainement. Learn to pronounce with our guides. You can complete the translation of c'est given by the French-English Collins dictionary with other dictionaries such as Elle est noire (il est + adj). In other words, it’s VERY complicated, and forums go on and on about “c’est ≠ il est” because French people don’t seem to agree either :-). In French, both “il est” and “c’est” translate as ‘it is’, ‘he is’. (He starts in English but then gets to singing in French) And have more examples of “c’est” used in context? And that’s that. They are Americans. Oh and in case you are interested, on this page you will find more of these sentences guides and the ultimate directory of all our French words guides on this page. Voici Festnoz – c’est le chien de la grand-mère d’Olivier.Here is Festnoz – he is Olivier’s grandma’s dog.C’est + noun, C’est un teckel à poils dursHe is a wire hair dachshund.C’est + noun, Il est petit.He is smallIl est + adjective. He is not rich, but he is passionate. C’est qui ? Don’t say : “il est un / elle est une / il sont des”. Do Say:  â€œc’est un, c’est une” with a strong liaison, “ce sont des” etc….C’est un ami, c’est une belle maison, c’est un garçon intelligent.He is a friend, it’s a pretty house, he’s an intelligent boy. Il est gentil. In details: In details: /s/ sound : Place the tip of your tongue lightly against the ridge behind your upper teeth but do not touch the teeth. C'est la vie is 3:1 in favour of /se/. Pronunciation. And even the presence of the other pronunciation may simply be a matter of hypercorrectness and the observer's paradox -- it may be that those who said /sɛ/ only said it because the written form makes them think that's home they should say it, when what they normally say is /se/. Or maybe it's variable? “Il est” + noun is sometimes (not always though) possible. Over 100,000 English translations of French words and phrases. From Middle English este, from Old English ēst (“will, consent, favour, grace, liberality, munificence, bounty, kindness, love, good pleasure, harmony, liberal gifts, luxuries”), from Proto-Germanic *anstiz (“favour, affection”), from Proto-Indo-European *ān- (“to notice; face, mouth”). Jouer avec une bouteille, c’est bruyant.Playing with a bottle is noisy business.C’est + adjective used in a general statement. Listen to the audio pronunciation in English. C’est le 16 novembre. C’est quoi ? The French 'C' can be pronounced in one of two ways: Soft pronunciation - In front of an 'E,' 'I,' or 'Y,' the 'C' is pronounced like an 'S'. C’est un gentil chien. French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated June 18, 2019 The French word chouette can be a noun, adjective, or exclamation. Festnoz, lui, il n’est pas très bruyant.Festnoz, on the other hand, is not very noisy.Il est + adjective (in the negative), Il est généralement calme et obéissant.Usually, he is calm and obedient.Il est + adjective, Est-ce que vous pensez qu’il est mignon ?Do you think he is cute?Il est + adjective. Use “c’est”. You cannot think of “he is” as being “il est” and “c’est” as being “it is” : unfortunately it doesn’t work this way in French! Il est beau (you cannot say “c’est beau” here). C’est une amie. This French sentence is (sadly) popular for being impossible to explain to beginners because the literal meaning is a complete nonsense. 2 – It is + Place, It is + Time and Other Expressions, 3 – He / She / It Is / They Are In English, 4 – He / She / It Is In French = C’est, Ce Sont, Il / Elle Est, Ils / Elles Sont. You cannot translate “c’est” = ‘it is’, “il est” = ‘he is’. You are indeed in a “c’est + (adjective that comes before the noun) + NOUN” scenario! Il est grand et brun (Il est + adj). Includes dialog, study guide and full transcript + translations. Now, let’s talk about the problem at hand. That’s why we tend to use instead “C’est quoi ?” or “C’est quoi ça ?” (What is that?) It means 'This is a' Wondering how to pronounce it? “Il est” is also used in French to express location, tell the time, and in the expression “il était une fois” – once upon a time…, C’est is also used with questions, dates, adverbs, stress pronouns…. 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