C'est bon vs est bonne

ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

C'est bon vs est bonne

The example says "la vanille, c'est bonne". why not "la vanille est bonne"? Especially since the ext sentence says "ces bonbons sont bons".
Asked 6 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Rene,

Hoping this might clarify things a bit and I can understand your frustation...

After 'C'est' , always use the masculine form of the adjective:

c'est bon, c'est grand, c'est petit, c'est important ...

regardless of what you are talking about.

Another way of saying you like something is to use the construction: 

le chocolat, c'est bon,

les fraises, c'est bon,

la vanille, c'est bon,

regardless of gender etc..

but if you talk of a particular item and you want to say it is  tasty , you may say:

les fraises des bois sont bonnes 

le sel de Guérande est bon

la vanille de Madagascar est bonne ...

and then the adjective will agree with the noun it refers to.

Hope this helps!


RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Rene, The gender agreement is always masculine when using «c'est». Here is the note from the lesson: «ATTENTION: when using il/elle, you have to make adjectives agree accordingly, whereas you always use the masculine with c'est. » And here is the lesson: "C'est" vs "Il/Elle est" to say it is/she is/he is in French Bonne chance, Ron
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci Ron. I understand the theory, I re-read the other lesson BUT I still have my 2 original doubts: 1. The example says " la vanille, c'est bon". Why not "la vanille est bonne"? 2. The next example says "ces bonbons sont bons". Why not "'ces bonbons, c'est bon" ? What determines the use of 'c'est + masculine-ending-adjective' and "il/elle bon/bonne"? Thank you.
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
In other words: if I read "la vanille, c'est bon" or "la vanille est bonne", I know roughly what it means (I understand the basic concept). I SIMPLY DON'T KNOW when to use "la vanille, c'est bon" and "la vanille est bonne"
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Masculine gender agreement ONLY follows the use of «c'est», hence la vanille, c'est bon (not bonne). Ces bonbons is not the same as saying c'est and bonbon is a masculine noun. Let me find another site resource for you: Here is one of my favorites: http://laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/pro3.html (I do not like to recommend sites outside of Kwiziq but at times, another perspective can open the door to understanding). Anyway, this site is from the Univ. of Texas at Austin French department and one of my French profs actually recommended it to me. The lesson is followed by quiz questions so one can test their knowledge. As for your second post, the use of «c'est» follows this general rule or pattern; assuming you are a native English speaker: The house, it is pretty --> In this phrase, the subject is «house» then the pronoun «it» is used in the phrase «it is pretty». However, in French it would look like this: La maison, c'est joli. (this is just for an example) While «maison» is the subject and a noun, in the phrase that become c'est joli, again with masculine gender agreement following «c'est» as per the grammar rule. I understand when you say «I SIMPLY DON'T KNOW when to use "la vanille, c'est bon" and "la vanille est bonne"», but pronouns function in French much like they do in English, i.e. a noun is replaced by a pronoun. Bonne chance et bonne continuation, Ron
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Ron, merci beacoup pour l'explication et le lien. I am still hung up on "la vanille, c'est bon" and "la vanille est bonne". When I read French, I realize that French people have TWO WAYS of saying "vanilla is good". In English, I have only one way of saying it: "vanilla is good". So, if I want to say that in French, what rule or thought process do I use to choose? If I want to say "vanilla is good". First I have to add "la" -> "la vanille". What do I do next? How do I choose between "la vanille est bonne"(which seems easy for me) or the more complicated form "la vanille, c'est bon" ?
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I think that you are trying to compare apples and oranges, here's my reasoning: 1) la vanille, c'est bon 2) la vanille est bonne These are two entirely different locutions -- «la vanille est bonne» is a simple statement saying that the vanilla is good, there is no use of the pronoun-phrase c'est, while in the phrase «la vanille, c'est bon» is a little more complex, i.e. the vanilla has been mentioned in the discussion previously. Example: I like vanilla --> J'aime la vanille. Then, during the course of the discussion the other person states, Ah, vanilla, yes it is good --> Ah, la vanille, oui, c'est bon. This same scenario could also be used with other feminin nouns, i.e.une maison, une chaise, la gardienne, etc. The grammar rule applies ONLY when the «fixed phrase c'est» is used . I hope this clarifies this for you since I don't know any other ways of explaining it. Should you have further questions, I shall defer to Aurélie for those. Best wishes, Ron
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Ron, merci encore une fois. I'm still hung up. "Tu aimes la vanille? Oui, c'est bon" I accept it "by faith, it's a French thing" even though I don't understand. "la vanille, c'est bon" seems different to me.. I wish I could understand it, but if it's too difficult, then I'll just move on. French is just my hobby. I don't need to know it perfectly. Aurelie, could you help?
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bien sûr, bonne chance et bonne continuation.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Vanilla is good. -- La vanille est bonne. Vanilla, it's good. -- La vanille, c'est bon. As Ron pointed out, the subject of the clause is "vanilla" in the first case and "ce" (as in c'est) in the second case. Hence the adjective takes on the female form "bonne" in the first sentence since it agrees with vanilla. In the second sentance it is in the male form "bon" because you have to agree it with "ce". -- Chris (not a native speaker).
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci Chris. I still don't understand when I should CHOOSE to write "la vanille est bonne" or "la vanille, c'est bon" That's okay. I'm moving on.. French is my hobby, I don't need to write it perfectly! Thanks for all the grammar (male/female explanations). Too bad no one can explain to me: French use "la vanille, c'est bon" ... (this is what I am missing) They use "la vanille est bonne"..... I'll never know the answer. Lemme see... WHEN do I use one or the other? Maybe it's a mystery... I'll go ponder the meaning of life. :)
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
The question is a stylistic one, not a grammatical one. The French often use this kind of repetition of the subject: La vanilla c'est bon. -- Vanilla vs. ce Moi je ne viens pas. -- Moi vs. je Anne est-elle à la maison? -- Anne vs. elle All different situations, to be sure, but it gives you a hint as to which construction is favored. Don't fret it, just roll with it. -- Chris.
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hello Cécile, merci pour votre réponse. 

Can o assume the, that the ce construction is play for general statements? Ex : ma soeur aime bien la vanille. Ah oui, (la vanille, ) c'est bon: oh yes, it's good (here vanilla is a general thing). 

But more definite things require the other construction! la vanille de Madagascar est bonne. J'aime beaucoup les fraises des bois sont bonnes. Elles sont très bonnes. En fait, elles sont délicieuses !

Another example: general: J'aime beaucoup le musique. C'est passionant. La pizza, c'est délicieux.

Definite : la musique classique est passionante. La pizza de Chez Luigi est délicieuse. 

Est-ce que je suis en train de comprendre ce sujet ?


ReneB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Lots of typos in my reply... sorry..  mon poche téléphone est affreux !
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Rene , 

I think you've cracked it ... well done! :-)

C'est bon vs est bonne

The example says "la vanille, c'est bonne". why not "la vanille est bonne"? Especially since the ext sentence says "ces bonbons sont bons".

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