‘Bien’ versus ‘bon’

(source 1, source 2)

Bon

  • ‘Bon’ (good) is an adjective. It modifies a noun:

Masculine singular: un bon restaurant

Feminine singular: une bonne salade

Masculin plural: de bons parents

Feminine plural: de bonnes baguettes

  • It makes set phrases with these specific verbs:

Faire: ‘Il fait bon‘ = the temperature is nice

Sentir: ‘Ca sent bon‘ = it smells good (depending on the grammatical context: ‘il sent bon’ / ‘elle sent bon’).

 

Bien

  • ‘Bien’ is an adverb. Its main use is: bien + verb = well

Je dors bien = I sleep well

J’ai bien dormi = I slept well

Je me sens bien = I feel good

Je vais au restaurant ce soir : je vais bien manger = I go to a restaurant tonight, I’m going to eat well

  • Bien + ‘de’ + noun = a lot of

Tu as bien de la chance = you are very lucky (literally: you have a lot of luck)

  • Bien + adjective = very

Tu as l’air bien fatigué = you look very tired

Mauvais

  • ‘Mauvais’ (bad) is an adjective. It modifies a noun:

Masculine singular: un mauvais restaurant

Feminine singular: une mauvaise salade

Masculin plural: de mauvais parents

Feminine plural: de mauvaises baguettes

  • It makes set phrases with these specific verbs:

Faire: ‘Il fait mauvais‘ = the weather is bad, it’s raining

Sentir: ‘Ca sent mauvais‘ = it smells bad (depending on the grammatical context: ‘il sent mauvais’ / ‘elle sent mauvais’).

 

Mal

  • ‘Mal’ is an adverb. Its main use is: mal + verb = bad or badly

Je dors bien = I sleep badly

J’ai mal dormi = I slept badly

Je me sens mal = I feel bad

Je n’ai rien dans le frigo : je vais mal manger = I have nothing in my fridge, I’m going to eat badly

 

With ‘être’ (to be): bon & bien

  • ‘Bon’: judgment based on sens (taste, smell…) and on proficiency

Ce café est bon = this coffee is good

Julien est bon en tennis = Julien is good at tennis

Cet homme est bon = this man is a good man

Be careful with the feminine version! Cette femme est bonne = it means: this women is hot

 

  • ‘C’est bon’ is a set phrase:

‘Tu es prêt ?’ ‘Oui c’est bon !’ = Are you ready? Yes I am! It’s fine / it’s OK

‘Monsieur Dupont, votre nom s’épelle D-U-P-O-N-T?’ ‘Oui c’est bon.’ = ‘Mr Dupont, your name is spelled D-U-P-O-N-T?’ ‘Yes that’s right / that’s correct.’

 

  • ‘Bien’: judgment based on intellect and moral

Cet appartement est bien = this apartment is good: it is spacious, quiet etc.

Ce film est bien = this film is good: It is well framed, interesting.

Tu as fini ? C’est bien ! = Are you done already? It’s good !

 


Et maintenant on pratique 🙂

 

Musique

‘Bien’, ‘bon’: these two words contain nasal vowels (-en- and -on-).

Nasal vowels?? Check them here and here.

On this page, listen to the song and click on the nasal sounds.

 

Activités

Fill in the blanks and listen to check your answer. Then, click on ‘Valider’: exercice 1exercise 2, exercise 3.

Here are other exercises.

 

Ecrire

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