Ce or another demonstrative is used with objects and things. Ce is only used with the verb être and becomes c’ when the être verb form begins with an e.
When an adjective describes ce, it is always masculine, even if a feminine object is being referredto.
|C’est dangereux.||It / That is dangerous.|
C’est/Il est + Adjective + à/de + Infinitive
C’est + adjective + à + infinitive is used when the idea has already been mentioned;
C’est vs. Il est/Elle est
Both ce and il/elle can represent the definite (things that have gender- this includes both persons and nonpersons).
Ce and il/elle have somewhat overlapping roles. As discussed in demonstratives, ce is often used to represent the indefinite, il/elle never so.
Both can be used interchangeably, at times, as an impersonal subject. Finally, both can represent the When representing the definite, however, certain situations call for one over another.
Il/elle are used generally when the noun is not modified by an article.
|Il est pompier. He is a fireman.
Elle est médecin. She is a doctor.
When the noun is modified use ce.
|C’est un pompier. He/She is a fireman.
Ce n’était pas un romancier d’un immense talent
— Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly à propos d’Honoré de Balzac
He was not a novelist of immense talent among the novelists of the
Ce should be used before proper nouns and pronouns.
Before an adjective:
Either c’est or il/elle est can be used before adjectives. When c’est is used, the phrase takes on a wider meaning.
The pronoun ce represents the entire class of an object, while the pronoun il/elle normally represents
an object in particular.
|Ils nous ont servi du roblochon. .. They served us roblochon cheese..
..C’est très fort. In general this cheese is very strong.
..Il est très fort. This particular serving of cheese was very strong.
practice C’est vs. Il est/Elle est
il est + adjective + de + infinitive is used when the idea has not yet been mentioned. Also, the c’est construction is used when you do not use a direct object after the infinitive of the transitive verb, and the il est construction is used when you do.
Est-ce qu’on peut apprendre le chinois en un an ? Can you learn Chinese in one year?
Non, c’est impossible à apprendre en un an ! No, it’s impossible to learn in one year! (The idea, Chinese, has already been mentioned, and there is no direct object.)
Non, il est impossible d’apprendre le chinois en un an ! (This sentence contains the direct object after the infinitive.)
Il est facile d’apprendre l’italien. It is easy to learn Italian. (The idea has not already been mentioned, and the direct object is used.)
Adjectives that express a certain emotion require de before the infinitive: content, désolé, furieux, heureux, triste
Je suis contente de vous voir. I am happy to see you.
Other adjectives require à before the infinitive: agréable, pénible, terrible, amusant, intéressant, ennuyeux, léger, lourd, lent, rapide, premier, dernier, prêt, seul
Il est prêt à partir. He is ready to leave.
In addition, when quelque chose is followed by an adjective, de is inserted between the two. quelque chose d’intéressant = something interesting
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