16.4.1.3 Anticipation with il

First of all, you already know that il means he, and this does not change now. However, in cases where a confusion with a person is impossible and the verb être is used, then il can be used for anticipation instead of ce and then it means it.

ce and il
  Is there an adjective after the verb être then ce as well as il can be used, however, ce is even here more common.
  Il / C' est évident qu' il n' a plus d' argent.
    It is obvious that he has no money anymore.

Please keep in mind that the possiblities of substitution are quite limited.

  Example
il cannot be used, if there is the risk of confusion between a person and a context
  C' est bizarre. <=> This is strange.
  Il est bizarre. <=> He is strange.
  il cannot be used for afterwards reference
  Il ne sait pas ce qu' il veut, c' est sûr.
  He does not know, what he wants, this is for sure.

There are some cases, when only ce can be used, even though there is the verb être. This is then the case, when after a noun or an infinitive follows the verb, because here again we would run the risk of a mix-up with a person (however absurd it might sound).

Examples
  C' est une voiture qui consomme très peu d' essence.
NOT: Il est une voiture qui consomme très peu d' essence.
This is a car that needs only few gasoline. (NOT: He is a car...)
  C' est un phénomène de société, dont on parle beaucoup.
NOT: Il est un phénomène de société, dont on parle beaucoup.
This is a phenomenon of the society, about which people talk a lot.






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