Standalone adjectives after c'est are always masculine

Look at these 2 contrasting examples:

La jupe coûte 30€. - Cette jupe est chère.
The skirt costs €30. - This skirt is expensive.

La jupe coûte 30€. - C'est cher !
The skirt costs €30. - That's expensive!

- In the first case, the adjective (describing word) chère relates to a specific noun (la jupe) present in the sentence, therefore the regular rule of agreement applies.

- In the second case, we're still talking about the skirt, but commenting on its price in a general context, using c'est (that is), hence the use of the masculine form of the adjective (cher).

When a standalone adjective is used after c'est, it will always be in the masculine form.

Here are more examples:

C'est ennuyeux.
It is boring.

C'est génial !
It's great!

C'est joli.
It is pretty.

C'est gratuit.
It is free.


Also see C'est = It is 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

C'est gratuit.
It is free.


La jupe coûte 30€. - Cette jupe est chère.
The skirt costs €30. - This skirt is expensive.


C'est ennuyeux.
It is boring.


C'est excitant.
It is exciting.


C'est joli.
It is pretty.



C'est génial !
It's great!


La jupe coûte 30€. - C'est cher !
The skirt costs €30. - That's expensive!


Q&A

Andrew

Kwiziq community member

17 March 2019

1 reply

translation

The translation given for "Ta voiture est petite. - Oui, mais c'est petit dans mon garage.""Your car is small. - Yes, but my garage is small."

The second sentence seems like it should be the car that is small in the garage. Is the translation correct?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

17 March 2019

17/03/19

Hi Andrew,

If you say -

'C'est petit dans mon garage'

What is actually meant is -

'There isn't much room in my garage' 

Hope this helps!

 

Márcio

Kwiziq community member

21 February 2019

1 reply

C'est x Elle est

In the sentence "She's a French actress", supposing I'm pointing out to a picture of the actress in my hand or the actress is standing herself by my side, presenting her to others, in these cases, can I say "Elle est une actrice française" ? Or even though it remains "C'est une actrice française" ?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

22 February 2019

22/02/19

Hi Marcio,

You can say;-

Elle est actrice” 

Or 

Elle est française” 

But 

“C’est une actrice française” is the only correct sentence...

You cannot say ‘Il est un...’

Elle est une ...’ in French 

Gloria

Kwiziq community member

26 August 2017

1 reply

Why de grands hommes and not des grands hommes..?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

26 August 2017

26/08/17

Bonjour Gloria,
Here is the lesson that addresses this exact scenario:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/view/4680">Using ''de / d' '' instead of 'des' in front of adjectives preceding nouns (partitive article)

In short, des is the contracted version of de + les .
Bonne chance.

Matt

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2017

3 replies

Uses of C'est

Hello, I am a bit confused about the standalone adject + c'est constructions. I thought that to use c'est it needed to proceed a noun within the sentence. Is what I'm seeing here a special case? Or do I have it completely mixed up (which wouldn't come as a great shock to me lol)?

Matt

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2017

19/08/17

Disregard my question. I just discovered the answer. :)

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2017

19/08/17

Here's the lesson you might be looking fir! https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/view/733?rts=%252Fsearch%253Fs%253DC%252527est

Matt

Kwiziq community member

20 August 2017

20/08/17

Merci beaucoup!

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

27 May 2017

1 reply

...not for the day of Luuuurve

what's a luuuurve? Did you mean love?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

31 May 2017

31/05/17

pas pour le jour de l'Amoooouuuur! That seems like a possible error or une blague. Read, le jour de l'Amour.
Let me take a look at that...