Replacing inanimate nouns with subject promouns

RB1Kwiziq community member

Replacing inanimate nouns with subject promouns

Could anyone please tell me if there are any rules on if and when you can/cannot replace inanimate nouns with subject pronouns? I read the lesson c'est versus il est/elle est and thought you use c'est with nouns while il/elle est is used with adjectives. 

But I have encountered situations where the writer/speaker uses il/elle est with a noun.

For example, if you are referring to (or pointing at) "une lettre", can you say "Elle est une lettre"? Or can you only say "C'est une lettre."?

Or, if you are referring to "une conversation", can you say "Elle va bien" or can you only say "Ça va bien."? 

Thank you for any clarification. 

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

The question when to use il/elle est versus c'est is an all-time favorite and causes a lot of confusion. Here's the kwiziq lesson on this: "C'est" vs "Il/Elle est" to say it is/she is/he is in French

In your first example, you'd say: C'est une lettre. Also, in your second example, you would use Ça va bien. Elle va bien makes me think of one of the people participating in the discussion.

RB1Kwiziq community member

The section you referred to on Kwizik was very helpful and a great supplement to the Lawless French lesson! Thank you!

Replacing inanimate nouns with subject promouns

Could anyone please tell me if there are any rules on if and when you can/cannot replace inanimate nouns with subject pronouns? I read the lesson c'est versus il est/elle est and thought you use c'est with nouns while il/elle est is used with adjectives. 

But I have encountered situations where the writer/speaker uses il/elle est with a noun.

For example, if you are referring to (or pointing at) "une lettre", can you say "Elle est une lettre"? Or can you only say "C'est une lettre."?

Or, if you are referring to "une conversation", can you say "Elle va bien" or can you only say "Ça va bien."? 

Thank you for any clarification. 

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