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.

  • With this verb, it is important to know what was going on in the previous sentence. For example: No one knew who had stolen the note. Everyone searched for it high and low. But it was indeed Draco Malefoy who had done it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 19:29

4 Answers 4


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)

  • Il s'agissait de: It was indeed Draco Malfoy. Il s'agit de refers back to something earlier in a text; often, to translate it, one needs to know what was going on.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 19:27

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.


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.

  • 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. Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 6:41
  • @Aerovistae added translation in english. Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 7:44

Spontaneously my mind came up with

It deals with, It concerns,

But for direct simplicity, "it's about" takes the biscuit! i.e. gets my vote! ( dunk, dunk, slam dunk! n'est Pas?) enter image description here

  • 5
    i don't know what to make of that picture Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 8:32

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