1. charlesread-atlanta Member

    Atlanta GA USA
    English - US
    Hi everybody!

    So my girlfriend walks out of a dressing room wearing a dress (une robe) that she is trying on, I say:

    C'est parfait!


    C'est parfaite!

    I know "ce" is invariable, but since it is taking the place of something that is femenine do I need to make "parfait" femenine as well?

    Thanks in advance!!
  2. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Since the subject is ce, the past participle must agree with it and hence remains in the masculine. As a matter of fact, ce does not (and cannot) refer to the dress, but to your girlfriend's appearance, which is a concept, hence neutral/invariable.

    C'est parfait !
    Elle est parfaite !
  3. charlesread-atlanta Member

    Atlanta GA USA
    English - US

    So I must use "Elle est..." since it's an actual object? And I can only use "ce" for concepts?
  4. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    It's not that you can't use c'est parfait here. It's just that when you say "C'est parfait," the ce doesn't represent the dress itself. Instead, the ce represents a general concept: the way your girlfriend looks in the dress... and of course that would be a perfectly natural reaction to seeing your girlfriend come out of the dressing room in something flattering.

    On the other hand, if you want to refer explicitly to la robe, you'll use elle.

    For comparison, in English, you might be more likely to say "It's perfect" if you were thinking specifically of the dress and "That's perfect" if you were reacting to the entire look/effect.... but English grammar lets us use either one in either situation, and the two ideas blur together a bit for us.
  5. charlesread-atlanta Member

    Atlanta GA USA
    English - US
    jann, I am so sorry that it has taken so long for me to respond, thank you so much for taking the time to respond!
  6. Andy English Teacher New Member

    English UK
    You may also wish to say "elle (the dress) te va parfaitement" i.e. "It fits you perfectly"

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