I do not know much French and shall await SraJMcGin with the definitive answer.
In the meantime, let me suggest this web site with rules for making the selection:
Use C'est for the first one
Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. Let's look at your first question first! It doesn't seem to be a big difference between C'est and Il est. Here is as easy as I can make it:
Before a modified noun: C'est
C'est un garçon intelligent. = He is an intelligent boy.
Ce sont mes cousins. = They are my cousins.
BUT unmodified: Il est
Il est professeur. = He is a teacher.
In addition, other uses of C'est (ce / c' = it, he, she, this, that, they, these, those - used only with the verb être. Then "Ce" replaces "il, elle, ils, and elles" with the modified noun. (see above)
Before a proper noun. = C'est
Qui frappe? C'est André. = Who is knocking? It is Andres.
Quelle est cette ville? C'est Paris. = What (Which) city is that? That is Paris.
Before a pronoun: C'est
Qui parle? C'est moi. = Who is speaking? It is I (I'm the one).
C'est celui de mon père. = It is my father's.
Ce sont les miens. = They (These, Those) are mine.
Before a superlative: C'est
C'est le meilleur du monde. = It is the best in the world.
C'est le plus beau de la classe. = He is the most handsome in the class.
Hopefully that will clarify it for you.
Ijust read drwls' response and that website is excellent. You won't even need my response!
Answer this Question
french - C'est or Il est?? ____est japonais. ____est etudiante. ____est un ...
French - Souligne l'adjectif dans la premiere phrase, puis complete la deuxieme ...
French - Agree with what the French exchange student says about some of the ...
French - I have a question on Qui est-ce? or Qu'est-ce que c'est? I have to ...
French - I have to write a conversation in French between me and a friend in ...
French - Could you please check this thanks. Directions: Rewrite the sentences ...
French - could you please check these thanks Directions: Connaître et savoir: ...
French 1 - could you please check this god bless. Directions are using the ...
French - when I would like to say: "it is hard to believe that it is November ...
French to Sra McGinn - Thank you for answering my earlier post; however I am ...