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General vs Specific statement

Kollum K.A2Kwiziq community member

General vs Specific statement

Hello, I am a little confused on what makes the following example a general statement: La jupe coûte 30 euros. - C’est cher! 

Based off another lesson on using C’est vs il/elle est, it seems to me like the above statement is commenting on a specific item and should instead be:

La jupe coûte 30 euros. - Elle est chère!

What is the difference here? Merci!

Asked 2 years ago
Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Kollum,

Yes! It can be a bit tricky to get correct.

The point is whether the item being referred to is repeated in the second sentence or not?

If it is, then the comment becomes particular to the item and would require a subject pronoun.

If not, then it is a non-specific comment and takes "That is" --> "C'est"

If you look back to the lesson, I think you will see what I mean.

Jim

Kollum K.A2Kwiziq community member

To clarify my confusion comes from contrasting with this lesson part 2B: 

"C'est" vs "Il/Elle est" to say it is/she is/he is in French

 But I think after reviewing I see the difference, being kind of like “It is” vs “That is”. In English the using “That is” is more natural in this context, though using  “it is” would make sense.

“The dress is $30.” - “It is expensive.” / “That is expensive." 

Is this typically the case in French as well?

Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

In French, "ça" refers to the entire idea, i.e., the fact that the skirt is expensive. 

La jupe est très chère. - Oui, ça ménerve!
The skirt is very expensive. - Yes, that annoys me! Here it is quite clear that "ça" does NOT refer to the skirt but to the entire idea.

General vs Specific statement

Hello, I am a little confused on what makes the following example a general statement: La jupe coûte 30 euros. - C’est cher! 

Based off another lesson on using C’est vs il/elle est, it seems to me like the above statement is commenting on a specific item and should instead be:

La jupe coûte 30 euros. - Elle est chère!

What is the difference here? Merci!

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