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Il est

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“Il est”

“Il est” is used to describe a person, an animal, or a thing. It means “it is” or “he is”. “Elle est,” “ils sont,” and “elles sont” can also be used depending on the gender and the numeral of the subject. When “il est” or one of its feminine or plural forms is used, the subject is easily identifiable in the context. “Il est” and its other forms can be followed by different things as listed below.

Il est + adjective (referring to people, animals, or objects)

For example: Il est petit → He/It is small.


Il est + profession

For example: Il est docteur → He is a doctor.


Il est + religion

For example: Il est protestant → He is a Protestant.


Il est + nationality

For example: Il est français → He is French.


Il est + adverb of places (for people, animals, and objects)

For example: Il est là-bas → He/it is over there.


“Ici,” (here) “là,” (there) and “là-bas” (over there) are adverbs of places. The adverbs will be seen in the intermediate books.

Il est + contracted article + location (people, animals and objects)

For example: Il est au cinéma → He/it is at the cinema.


 The contracted articles are “au,” “à la,” “à l’,” and “aux.”

Il est + preposition + (geographical) places (people, animals and objects)

For example: Il est en France → He/It is in France.


“En” is used in front of feminine countries, “au” with masculine countries, “aux” with plural countries and “à” with cities, town or villages, but there are exceptions. This will be seen in more detail in the books beginners volume 3 and the intermediate books.

Il est + time

For example: Il est 10 heures → It is 10 am.


Il est + question word

For example:
Il est où ? → Where is it?/Where is he?
Il est comment ? → How is it?/How is he?
Il est d’où ?→ From where is it?/From where is he?


In informal situations “il est” can go after the question words.

For example:
Où il est ? → Where it is?

Not every question words can be used with “il est”. The question words will be seen in the book Beginner volume 3.

More in the books

Werther you are learning by yourself, with Anais and Co or if you are a FLE teacher find this lesson and many more in a beautiful book.

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Les légumes