16 votes
Accepted

Il(s) existe(nt?) plusieurs solutions

Le il dans il existe (avec un sens proche de il y a) est un pronom impersonnel, comme dans il pleut ou il faut. Il ne fait référence à aucune entité. Il occupe le rôle de sujet parce rien d'autre n'...
Stéphane Gimenez's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Google Translate: C'est vs. Ç'est

"Ç'est" is totally impossible in French!
SteffX's user avatar
  • 1,838
12 votes

Is "ce" or "ces" (or both) correct in this context?

The subject pronoun ce and the demonstrative determiner ce/cette/ces aren't the same word, even if they share a form, and don't follow the same rules. The subject pronoun is ultimately descended from ...
Eau qui dort's user avatar
  • 9,674
10 votes
Accepted

An impersonal construction or not?

Il s('y) mêlait... is an impersonal pronominal form equivalent to a passive construction. And, indeed, it is often translated into English with a passive form as in the translation you give1. This ...
None's user avatar
  • 60.2k
6 votes

Google Translate: C'est vs. Ç'est

Ç'est is not correct French. Even a Text Editor recognizes this. On the contrary Ça a été difficile; Ç'a été difficile. are both correct. See the relevant discussion here: « Ç'a é...
Dimitris's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Regarding the placeholder subject « il » in the phrase « il en arrive une nouvelle »

"Arriver" does not usually require a placeholder subject. That's just one possible usage of this verb, and not even the most common. You can use this construction with many different verbs. I don't ...
Anne Aunyme's user avatar
  • 6,062
5 votes
Accepted

Le pronom "on" à l'écrit formel : phrase impersonnelle avec "on" ou à la voix passive ?

Il n'y a pas de raison d'écarter on des textes formels dans les cas cités, en particulier le deuxième où il a parfaitement à sa place. Dans la première phrase, on est un peu ambigu car on ne sait pas ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
4 votes

Is the subject-mismatch allowed in "Après s’être amusée, il lui arrive de ..."?

Here in "il lui arrive" il does not refer to fille, it's the subject of impersonal use of verb arriver (il arrive que), like in "il faut que", "il se trouve que..." etc.
Seb's user avatar
  • 69
4 votes

Is “Quelle heure est-on ?” a valid way to ask about time?

I thinck it's not correct, bacause it is an impersonal form (forme impersonnelle), as, for exemple "il pleut". You can't say "on pleut" (unless as a kind of joke). The "il" doesn't refer to anyone.
MrSmithGoesToWashington's user avatar
4 votes

Il(s) existe(nt?) plusieurs solutions

En français, le verbe s'accorde toujours avec son sujet. Voici l'exemple d'une phrase typique: Je mange une pomme. [Je] (Sujet) [mange] (verbe) [une pomme] (complément). Le verbe manger vient s'...
Sifu's user avatar
  • 1,149
4 votes

An impersonal construction or not?

Good answers already by λyoye d'oncques and None, but I thought some extra pedantry might be helpful. That said, I don't think you should focus on the correct translation, but rather on capturing the ...
user17149's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes

Is "ce" or "ces" (or both) correct in this context?

In this case "Ce" is correct, it means "cela / ceci" and it's always singular. You're right, it's a kind of catch all construction. "Ce n'est pas mon livre" and "Ce ...
beabot's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Why's "peu s'en faut" grammatical, when falloir must be preceded by "il"?

You can consider that peu s'en faut is a fixed phrase that deviates from the standard syntax rules (I have the feeling it is actually an archaic turn but cannot find any evidence to back this up). ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 17.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Regarding construction of sentence 'Il nous faut une nouvelle maison'

il can function as a dummy pronoun, with impersonal verbs such as falloir (elsewhere translated as to be necessary), pleuvoir and other verbs related to the weather, sembler, etc. In other words, il ...
Maroon's user avatar
  • 2,117
3 votes

Le sujet d'une construction impersonnelle est-il toujours 'il' ?

Dans la phrase C'est dommage, le pronom ce fait référence à un fait connu, on ne peut pas remplacer la phrase par Il est dommage sans devoir la compléter par une explication donc ce n'est pas une ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
2 votes
Accepted

Regarding the expression “quoi que ce soit”

Les deux formes sont exactes. La 1 est une version impersonnelle de la 2, qui peut se construire avec des verbes qui indiquent un événement, quelque chose qui survient: Une personne arrive => Il ...
guillaume girod-vitouchkina's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Understanding "Il m’a semblé alors reconnaître le sentiment que je lisais sur tous les visages."

Your Question 1: The correct meaning is given in your second proposition: "It seemed to me then that I recognized the sentiment that I read on all the faces. The "il" of "il m'a semblé..." is ...
BBBreiz's user avatar
  • 2,288
2 votes

Is the subject-mismatch allowed in "Après s’être amusée, il lui arrive de ..."?

Here is a sentence using a similar structure. Après s’être préparée, un vilain coup de vent lui retarda son projet de navigation de plusieurs heures. The active subject of the first clause was her,...
Pas un clue's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

"Noter que" ou "Notez que" ?

"On remarquera/notera", "Nota Bene" sont des formules impersonnelles qui permettent d'éviter ce "Notez", impropre aux tournures académiques et, de surcroît, rendu un peu ...
Derniers Outrages's user avatar
1 vote

"Noter que" ou "Notez que" ?

La formule correcte est "notez". Pour adopter une tournure impersonnelle, on pourrait écrire p.ex. "on peut noter que, etc."
Greg's user avatar
  • 17.2k
1 vote

An impersonal construction or not?

The missing piece to your puzzle is that in the construction explained in the selected answer, you have the pronoun y, which stands for the sound expressed by the verb in the first part (crépité: ...
Plus jamais quoi encore's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Il : sujet impersonnel

Elle est équivalente mais il vaut mieux corriger l'accord puisque le sujet est alors au pluriel : Restent quelques cas particuliers.
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
1 vote

Is “Quelle heure est-on ?” a valid way to ask about time?

Quelle heure est-t-il ? is what is taught at school but is somewhat formal and relatively infrequent. Quelle heure il est ? is by far the most common way to ask "what time is it?" in ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
1 vote

Is the subject-mismatch allowed in "Après s’être amusée, il lui arrive de ..."?

I think that "il" actually replaces the infinitive subordinate clause: *"Nous ramener quelque chose lui arrive" is the idea behind the sentence. Your sentence is just fine.
user45784's user avatar
  • 564
1 vote
Accepted

Is "des" a preposition + article in "Il se versait des petits verres"?

Il is an impersonal pronoun. se doesn't turn the voice to passive, but is present as part of the idiomatic construction "il se [verb]" in which il is an impersonal pronoun; the idiom isn't a passive ...
qoba's user avatar
  • 6,693
1 vote

Understanding "Il m’a semblé alors reconnaître le sentiment que je lisais sur tous les visages."

I would have translated it with something like that: I had the impression that I could distinguish the feeling that was visible on all the faces.
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
1 vote

Understanding "Il m’a semblé alors reconnaître le sentiment que je lisais sur tous les visages."

Your guess B is right, "il" is unpersonnal, you may rephrase it : J'ai l'impression d'avoir reconnu le sentiment [...] J'ai eu l'impression de reconnaître le sentiment [...] I don't feel the ...
Random's user avatar
  • 5,951
1 vote

Regarding the expression “quoi que ce soit”

Your sentences mean what you want to say. If you choose to use "quoi que ce soit" as a common name (V1), then you need to add a pronoun to say your condition. Litterally, the translation is "If it ...
Limo's user avatar
  • 309
1 vote

What is the difference between “c'est” and “il est”?

Question de syntaxe, réponse simplifiée. L'usage est souvent plus compliqué. English to follow bellow. Formulaire : C'est + un + nom Il est + adjectif On emploie c'est et ce sont (pronom impersonnel ...
livresque's user avatar
  • 2,471

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