French Impersonal Verbs

The French Impersonal Verbs are these verbs that used il (it) or ce/cela (there)

French Impersonal verbs with IL

Weather verbs

Il pleut - it’s raining
Il neige - it’s snowing
Il gèle - it’s freezing
Il tonne - it’s thundering
Il y a du brouillard - it’s foggy
Il fait du vent - it’s windy
Il fait beau - it’s fine
Il fait mauvais - the weather’s bad
Il fait chaud/froid - it’s hot/cold

Time of day

Il est cinq heures - it’s five o’ clock
Il est midi et demi - it’s half past twelve
Il est tard - it’s late

Il y a

Il y a 30 000 personnes dans le stade - there are 30 000 people in the stadium

Impersonal expressions

Il s’agit de - it’s about

Il m’est arrive de - I happened to
Il faut (que) - you (we, they etc…) must/need
Il parait que - it appears that
Il semble que - it seems that
Il suffit de - you only have to
Il vaut mieux - it’s better to
Il était une fois - once upon a time

French Impersonal Verbs with CE/CELA

CE is used as être subject
CELA is used for any verb as a subject

Il est facile de mentir - it’s easy to tell lies
Si elle rie, c’est qu’elle ne veut pas en parler - if she’s laughing, it’s because she doesn’t want to talk about that

C’est + adjective is very common in spoken French instead il est +adjective

C'est beau quand la pluie tombe - It's beautiful when the rain falls

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