Pronoun reference

KevinA2Kwiziq community member

Pronoun reference

«Julie regarde un film de Tom Cruise. Il est très bon» 


Why is « Il » referring to Tom Cruse? Why isn’t it referring to the film that Julie is watching ?

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Kevin,

In this example, 'il' can refer to both the film or the actor, when I read it, I took it to be the film.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

If in doubt, the pronoun refers to the last mentioned possibility it could refer to. In this case it is Tom Cruise.

JessicaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Il is correct for "he" and "it (masculine)".  Therefore, there's no way to tell which is being referred to in the French.

It's not even entirely possible to tell it doesn't refer to "Julie" as "[Julie] is also occasionally used as a male nickname or pet form of Julius, Julian, or Jules." (Wikipedia).

KarenA1Kwiziq community member

The rule in English is the pronoun refers to the last noun mentioned, e.g., Tom Cruise, so is it the same in French? It is just as ambiguous in English!

CelenaB1Kwiziq community member

Film is the subject of the sentence. Tom Cruise is just part of a descriptive, prepositional phrase.  I, of course, know that ‘il’ can be he or it, but it seemed like this was a trick question, so I considered it a long time and concluded that you wanted to refer to the subject. AAAAAARRRRRGGH.

Pronoun reference

«Julie regarde un film de Tom Cruise. Il est très bon» 


Why is « Il » referring to Tom Cruse? Why isn’t it referring to the film that Julie is watching ?

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