The hot sauce packets at the fast food restaurant called Taco Bell have cute sentences printed on them. On one that I just got, it reads:


I'm reading "du" as the partitive article, but that means that "sérieux" is a noun. Can "C'est du + [adjective]" ever happen?

On wordreference, the entry for "sérieux" has many entries for sérieux being an adjective, but only one entry for it being a noun; this makes me wonder if "sérieux" in the sentence on my hot sauce is in fact an adjective.


  • Is "sérieux" an adjective, or a noun, in "C'est du sérieux"?
  • Can "C'est du + [adjective]" ever happen?

1 Answer 1


Sérieux is a substantive adjective (adjectif substantivé), so technically a noun (e.g. in English: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".)

There are many other examples of such constructions:

C'est du bon (also c'est de la bonne)

C'est du pareil au même

C'est du vrai

C'est du propre

C'est du rouge


  • note for my future self, and other readers: A "substantive adjective" is an adjective that replaces a noun. e.g. "The meek shall inherit the earth". people.hsc.edu/drjclassics/Latin/general_info_about_grammar/…
    – silph
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 20:48
  • Can I use this construction with any adjective? eg, "C'est du génial", "C'est du mal", etc? Or is it just certain adjectives that a person just learns as time passes?
    – silph
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 20:50
  • 1
    @silph You cannot use this form with all adjectives. You can say "C'est du mal.", since "mal" is a noun ("le mal et le bien"). I need to point out though that I don't think I have ever heard "C'est du mal." before ;). Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:06
  • Not all adjectives do work well. C'est du génial is slightly odd but might work in some contexts. C'est du mal doesn't (as an adverb), or more precisely, would work with mal being already a noun (c'est du mal que tu lui fais)
    – jlliagre
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:07

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