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CarameliciousWednesday 18th of May 2005 08:32:53 PM
Lesson on Bon vs. Bien - For the Correct Format Visit
[url]http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa122200b.htm[/url]

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Bon vs Bien
Bon and bien are often confused, because they both have positive meanings and can be adjectives, adverbs, or nouns.

Bon Bien
adjective good well
adverb nice well
noun form good(s)


Adjective

Bon is usually an adjective. It modifies a noun and means good, suitable, efficient, correct, useful, etc. Bien means good, moral, right, healthy, etc., and can only be used as an adjective with copular (state-of-being) verbs such as être.

Il est bon étudiant. He is a good student. Il est bien comme étudiant. He is a good student.
J'ai passé une bonne soirée. I had a nice evening. Ça serait bien ! That would be good!
Il a bon coeur. He has a good/kind heart. Très bien ! Very good!
Ce timbre n'est pas bon. This stamp is not valid. Je suis bien partout. I'm at ease anywhere.
Luc est bon pour le service. Luc is fit for (military) service. Ce n'est pas bien de dire ça. It's not nice to say that.
Je le trouve bien. I think it's nice.


Adverb of manner

Bien is usually an adverb. It means well or can be used to stress something. Bon, in the rare instances where it is used as an adverb, means good or pleasant.

J'ai bien dormi. I slept well. Il fait bon ici. It's nice/pleasant here.
Il se porte bien. He is in good health. Il fait bon vivre. It's good to be alive.
Je vais bien, merci. I am well, thank you. Il fait bon étudier. It's good to study.
La radio ne marche pas bien. The radio isn't working right. Ça sent bon ! That smells good!
Je le vois bien souvent. I see him quite often.
J'ai bien dit ça. I *did* say that.


Noun

Bon can refer to any sort of important or official piece of paper: form, bond, coupon, voucher, etc. Bien means good in the general sense, and biens means goods.

un bon à vue demand note le bien public public good
bon de caisse cash voucher le bien d'humanité the good of humanity
bon de commande order form le bien et le mal good and evil
bon de livraison delivery slip dire du bien de to speak well of
bon de réduction reduction coupon faire du bien à quelqu'un to do someone good
bon du Trésor Treasury bill les biens d'un magasin a store's goods
biens immeubles real estate
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