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I have just heard the following sentence in the movie "Le Fabuleux Destin de Amélie Poulain":

C'est beau, la vie.

I have found out that there is also a song with this name.

Shouldn't "beau" agree with the feminine noun "vie" ?

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"Beau/belle" must agree with "ce", written "c'" in this locution; as the gender of "ce" is neuter, the form of the adjective must be "beau", the masculine form and also the form for the neuter gender.

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  • I'm really confused now. I thought that c' was an ellision of "ça", the neutral indefinite pronom. – Alan Evangelista Sep 3 '20 at 12:17
  • @AlanEvangelista You'll find the confirmation and plenty od examples here:cnrtl.fr/definition/ce. Apparently this elision for "ça" does not exist: (ça a marché) books.google.com/ngrams/… cnrtl.fr/definition/%C3%A7a – LPH Sep 3 '20 at 12:23
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    See also this question and chat... – jlliagre Sep 3 '20 at 13:27
  • @AlanEvangelista: Consider that the negation of such phrases is "ce n'est pas" and not "ça n'est pas". I need to double-check, but there should be a difference between "ce" as a sort of dummy pronoun and "ce" as a demonstrative adjective. LPH: That's in keeping with my understanding of French, but I did see a text recently where the author wrote things like "ç'avait." – Maroon Sep 4 '20 at 6:28
  • @Maroon En effet, on trouve cette forme, mais elle est trompeuse (books.google.com/ngrams/…); voir cette référence: books.google.fr/…; (1/2) – LPH Sep 4 '20 at 6:58

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