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I want to say that a video of a dance is magnificent.

My first, naive, thought was to use c'est magnifique but I now think Il est magnifique might be better. The subject of the video is a girl dancing so should I use Elle est magnifique instead?

I want the subject of the sentence to be the dance, not the girl.

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    Une vidéo feminine, that rules out using il. In using elle you must make sure it is clear you're referring to the video and not to the girl in the video. Spontaneously magnifique will be thought to apply the girl so using ce would be better. I would not use magnifique for a video (but I would for a girl !). For a video, according to the situation, I'd rather use super, géniale, vraiment très bien, remarquable, extraordinaire. – Laure Nov 7 '14 at 11:30
  • Si j'ai bien compris, c'est la danse qui est à qualifier de magnifique, pas la vidéo. – mouviciel Nov 14 '14 at 8:42
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The simplified rule: if you are refering to a specific person or thing, use "il/elle". Otherwise, use "c'est".


  • If the video is wonderful, you should say: "C'est magnifique" because the video in which the dance is beautiful and the girl dances well is globally wonderful. You don't point anything being wonderful, but the whole thing is.
  • If people already know that you are specifically talking about the video, you can say "Elle est magnifique". Example: someone comments the video and say "C'est une très belle vidéo". You could answer "En effet, elle est magnifique".

  • If the girl who is dancing were to be wonderful, you could say without any context that "Elle est magnifique". Here you are implicitely talking about the girl because the two following conditions are met:

    • you wouldn't have said "C'est magnifique" to talk about the girl, because she's not an object. It is the same as in English when "It's wonderful" for a girl sounds strange.
    • the context doesn't say anything about what you are refering to, it means you point something/someone out.
  • Note that you could say "C'est une fille très charmante".

  • Dans ton point "specifically", attention à l'interaction avec "clip video/videoclip(n,m)". Le demi-mot reste possible dans un tel contexte i.e. "elle est magnifique". – user3177 Nov 11 '14 at 22:12

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