C'est = It is

Look at these examples:

Attention, c'est chaud!  
Watch out, it's hot!

C'est très ennuyeux !
It's very boring.

C'est bleu.
It's blue.

Note that to describe things in general in French, you can use :

c'est (it is/this is/that is) + a simple adjective (describing word)


See also Standalone adjectives after c'est are always masculine

and more advanced C'est vs il/elle est: Saying it is

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

C'est très ennuyeux !
It's very boring.



C'est grand.
It's big.


C'est bleu.
It's blue.


Le McDo, c'est bien pour les dimanches soirs paresseux, pas pour le jour de l'Amoooouuuur!
McDonald's, it's good for lazy Sunday evenings, not for the day of Luuuurve!


Attention, c'est chaud!  
Watch out, it's hot!


Q&A

David

Kwiziq community member

5 August 2018

2 replies

C'est nul vs Il est nul

The quiz asked "It's lame", "_____ nul".

The answer that it wants is "C'est nul".

Why can't it be "Il est nul"?

Suppose the sentence was a response to the question "What do you think of that film?"

The answer is providing an opinion with an adjective which it is applying to a specific thing - "that film".

That sounds a lot like case 2b in the lesson:

"2. Cases expressing opinions or simple statements (adjectives) about prementioned things"

"b. il est/elle est  for statements and opinions related to specific things"

Chika

Kwiziq community member

13 September 2018

13/09/18

C’est nul

David

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

14/09/18

A more elaborate reply would be appreciated.

Ashley

Kwiziq community member

19 July 2017

2 replies

On the quiz it said that "c'est amusant " could mean it is funny or this is funny

I did not see in the lesson or video where c'est could mean "this is". That sounds specific to me. What do you think?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

19 July 2017

19/07/17

Hi Ashley - remember that 'ce' usually translates to 'this' or 'that' (and "c'est" is ce + est) but it's not usually very helpful to think about what individual words translate to in English. Expressions like "C'est amusement" can loosely be translated as "It's funny" or "That's funny". The actual sense will depend on the context.

Chika

Kwiziq community member

13 September 2018

13/09/18

it can be both ways

melissa

Kwiziq community member

7 July 2017

1 reply

Inserting a seemingly unneccessary definite article

In a similar vein to my question below ( I don't know where to find the relevant grammar topic ), there are many places in french where it seems one must insert a definite article where it would be omitted in English-- here are a couple of examples: "Il y a même des alcools spéciaux en France qui sont synonymes de l'apéritif comme le Pineau, le Muscadet que l’on sert avec une liqueur de fruit. " "Vous serrez la main que l'on vous tend." Why can't you say "qu'on sert"," qu'on vous tend" ?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

7 July 2017

7/07/17

Bonjour Melissa,

You can say on or l'on in these cases; l'on is a euphonic technique:
https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/on-vs-lon/

melissa

Kwiziq community member

7 July 2017

4 replies

"Le nombre ( de bises) le plus répandu, c'est 2.

Why do you need the c' here. Why not just "le nombre est 2?"

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

7 July 2017

7/07/17

Bonjour Mélissa !

This is a colloquial difference of expression between French and English :)

Indeed in such cases where the subject of a sentence with "être" is quite long, we tend to add a coma + "c'est" in French, which is a (slightly redundant I agree) way to take a breath and not get lost in the sentence I guess, as such:

Ce que j'aime le plus, c'est son sourire.
What I like the most is his smile.

Le jour que je préfère est le samedi.
Le jour que je préfère, c'est le samedi.

The day I prefer is Saturday.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

10 June 2018

10/06/18

Hi Aurélie

Do I understand your answer to mean that both of the following sentences are correct?

Le jour que je préfère est le samedi.
Le jour que je préfère, c'est le samedi.

Thank you

Stewart

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 June 2018

13/06/18

Bonjour Stewart !

Oui, c'est tout à fait ça :)

À bientôt !

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

13 June 2018

13/06/18

Je vous remercie.

C'est brilliant.

Anish

Kwiziq community member

2 June 2017

2 replies

Why is it not "Regarde ce dessin, il est superbe"

As per the Video "il/s or elle/s" is the correct pronoun to be used when talking about specific thing/s

Ron

Kwiziq community member

3 June 2017

3/06/17

Bonjour Anish, Je pense que cela au-dessous expliquera votre question. Regarde ce dessin, c'est superbe! Look at this drawing, it's superb! C'est bleu. It's blue. Note that to describe things in general in French, you can use the simple expression c'est ('it is/this is'), followed by an adjective (describing word). Peut-être l'adjectif qui suit serait la raison. «ce dessin» est une chose en général au contraire d'«un dessin de Monet» ce qui serait plus exact. J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera. bonne journée, Ron

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

3 June 2017

3/06/17

Bonjour Anish and Ron! Actually here I agree with Anish : "il est superbe" would indeed be better here, as this is a specific drawing you have already mentioned. I've now changed this example to better fit this lesson :) Merci beaucoup et à bientôt !

Adam

Kwiziq community member

7 January 2016

4 replies

C'est moi qui paye

Why can't you just say Je paye? Or someone corrected me after I said that my small daughter is ill (La petite est malade <- wrong, C'est la petite qui est malade <- why?)

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

7 January 2016

7/01/16

Bonjour Adam, Je paye isn't wrong, it's just that "C'est moi qui paye" is more emphatic. For example, John says, "Je paye" but Bill insists that he's going to pay, so he says "C'est moi qui paye," which is equivalent to "No, *I'm* paying." It's the same thing with "C'est la petite qui est malade" - there must be some context in which someone said something like "La grande est malade" and someone else is contradicting: "Non, c'est la petite qui est malade." Without that sort of contradiction/emphasis, Je paye and La petite est malade are perfectly fine.

Adam

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2016

8/01/16

There was no contradiction, just me saying that my little daughter is ill. He told me: "Ca ne sonne pas français" and corrected the sentense. Might this be related to his location? (Angers)

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

8 January 2016

8/01/16

Maybe - I'm not familiar with any particuliarities about the French in that region of France. I don't see anything at all wrong with La petite est malade.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 January 2016

11/01/16

Bonjour Adam, I'm French, and from what you explained, "la petite est malade" is perfectly acceptable, and sounds very French to me :) However, "Ça ne sonne pas français" is a very clumsy translation from English ;)

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