more clarity needed concerning specific things

RentA1Kwiziq community member

more clarity needed concerning specific things

The very first example given of when to use "c'est" is:

"C'est une jolie robe."

This clearly refers to a specific dress.

 

But then we are told that the answer to "Tu aimes mon pull?"  should be "Oui, il est très beau."

Why is the rule for a specifc dress different than the rule for a specific sweater? Is it that "il/elle est" should be used when answering a question about a specific thing but that "c'est" can be used otherwise? 

Asked 3 months ago
ChristianC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

As for the rule for deciding whether to use "c'est" or "il est" based on "specificity".

This rule about "specificity" does not apply to the first case (numbered with "1.") when what follows "est" (more precisely, the "complement") is a noun preceded by a determiner (article, possessive or demonstrative adjective). In this case you always use "c'est" (except for some fringe exceptions).

The rule about "specificity" is only for deciding between 2.a (c'est) and 2.b (il/elle est) with "est" followed by an adjective or adverb phrase ("sur la table").

Since you are not the first one to ask this question, it would be great if that was made more clear in the text. Especially, since this first rule is quite easy to follow.

In the other cases it is more challenging to decide between "c'est" and "il est".

For the moment, you can checkout the post by Maarten below and the links for more explanations.

CélineKwiziq team member

Bonjour Rent,

Christian's answer is great!

@Christian we are aware that this lesson needs to be a bit updated. It's on our to-do list. 

Merci et bonne journée !

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I second Christian's response. The rule to use il/elle with specific items and ce with general items simply doesn't work. It creates so much confusion.

Here is another rule, which could replace this one: use ce whenever the verb is être.

This works 90% of the time.

more clarity needed concerning specific things

The very first example given of when to use "c'est" is:

"C'est une jolie robe."

This clearly refers to a specific dress.

 

But then we are told that the answer to "Tu aimes mon pull?"  should be "Oui, il est très beau."

Why is the rule for a specifc dress different than the rule for a specific sweater? Is it that "il/elle est" should be used when answering a question about a specific thing but that "c'est" can be used otherwise? 

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