Home > French > Grammar > Pronouns
Pronouns

Impersonal Subjects

An impersonal subject is used primarily in expressions of weather and time.  In these expressions the subject doesn't do anything -- it represents, you might say, the way things are- the universe at the present moment.  The verb of an impersonal subject is always in the third person.

Time

Il is the impersonal subject of time expressions.

Quelle heure est-ilIl est 4 heures.
What time is it? It is 4 o'clock.
Il est midi.
It is midday

Weather

Il is used for weather expressions.

 

 

Formal
Il pleut. It's raining.
Il dégèle It's thawing.
Il tonne. It's thundering.
Il gèle. It's freezing.
Il bruine. It's drizzling.

Both ce and il can act as impersonal subjects in conjunction with être and an adjective.

Il/C' est possible d'améliorer le monde.
It is possible to improve the world.
Next >>

Home | About | Collaborate/Volunteer | Donations | Contact | Newsletter | Blog | Preferences