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I ran across this while reading, and none of the definitions I found here fit the bill. I get the gist of the sentence because I've read this in English, but I still can't make sense of the word itself in this context.

Il s'agissait en effet de Drago Malefoy.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The link you provided does give the answer to that question:

il s'agit de (=c'est) - it's a matter of, it's
(=c'est à propos de) it's about
Il s'agit d'une intervention bénigne. - It's a minor operation.
de quoi s'agit-il? - What is it about?

So, there you have a translation, a proper question and an example.

Un francophone also provided il est question de and that can be also said in English: it's a question of.

Another example

Il s'agit d'une pièce à deux personnages. - It's a play with two people.

With own words: You can use that phrase when you want to specify the object you're talking about more precisely. For instance: It's an animal with eight feet.

Thus, your sentence could be translate:

It's indeed Drago Malefoy.

Admittedly, it's Drago Malefoy.


Said that, I wouldn't use a question of or a matter of in your example. Both could be used in the second meaning that Un francophone said, for instance:

It's a matter of life and death.

It's still a matter of debate.

or in phrases like

It's simply a question of time. (C'est juste une question de temps)

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Il s'agit ici de l'emploi pronominal impersonnel d'agir (en C)

  • il s'agit de + nom ou inf. signifie il est question de (it's about).

  • il s'agit de + inf. signifie il est important de (it is important to).

Dans ton cas, il est question en effet de Drago Malefoy.

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That seems like a really good answer except for one problem-- I don't know the expression "Il est question de" either, and all the internet translations say it means "Il s'agit de," which is unfortunately not helpful here, haha. –  Aerovistae Jul 30 '12 at 6:41
    
@Aerovistae added translation in english. –  Un francophone Jul 30 '12 at 7:44

I would like to propose another translation of the expression, maybe more generic than the others. I think that in most cases, il s'agit can be translated by the expression it happens to be.

For example:

Il s'agissait en effet de Drago Malefoy.

Could be translated by:

It indeed happened to be Drago Malefoy.

It's not really a pretty translation, but it's somehow easy to use.

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