"Ce sont des hommes."

Translation:They are men.

January 5, 2013

89 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/onnie

why isn't it: ils sont des hommes?

January 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/zacotage

"Ce sont instead of Ils/elles sont

Ce sont is used when the noun has an article (les or des) or a possessive before it. Say: Ce sont nos enfants, not: Ils sont nos enfants."

October 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kathryncosm

Im learning more from peoples random explanations than this trial and error thing... does duolingo not explain these rules?

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

If you have access to the web through a browser, the web version has Tips and notes for many lessons which are now accessed through a lightbulb button at the skills that have them.

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/darshanparmar32

True

September 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Halil204846

Merci

December 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Growly

I kept hearing "les hommes". Argh, I'm not that old!

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mezza.

I'm hearing that too... I really hate the robot voice

January 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hurricanechild

I swear the faster recording is saying les and the slow one des.

March 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/heber_moreno

Me too. I repeated it several times and it sounds like: les hommes

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaLeand873201

Same . Very difficult to hear if she says des hommes or les hommes here.

October 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/InsureHer

What is the difference between 'ce' and 'ils/elles', and when would you use 'ce'?

October 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mbthebulldog

There are lots of rules. The ones I can remember are:

IL EST: Adjective describing a person / C'EST: Adjective describing a situation

IL EST: Unmodified adverb / C'EST: Modified adverb

IL EST: Unmodified noun / C'EST: Modified noun

IL EST: Prepositional phrase (people) / C'EST: Proper name or profession

November 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/StephanieM296020

Would you be willing to provide examples of the last one?

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Il est chez Marie. He is at Marie’s home.

C’est Marie. She is Marie. (Her name is Marie.)

Il est avocat. He is a lawyer. (That is what he does for a living.)

C’est l’avocat. This is the lawyer. (I told you about the lawyer. Well, here he is.)

December 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaWolven

C'est - comes before articles. Il/elle est - comes before when no articles are present

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/meredith.s

Just to make sure I've got it straight, ce = masc. sing. / cette = femme. sing. / ces = plural / c' = sing. followed by vowel. And that is all of the "c" group of articles, is this the way of it?

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AdindaRizt1

sorry, I just confused. Why Ce sont des hommes instead of Ces sont des hommes?

June 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee

Please read this post by Rémy https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4021012

November 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/StephanieM296020

I found a youtube channel that helps me solidify these lessons in memory: Learn French with Alexa. Hth

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Susan_J

I found her yt channel too. I love her videos. Great teacher!

October 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ilovebilly

I too would like to know why it is not, "Ces sont des hommes". AdindaRizt asks a great question and no one answers it.

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"C'est" and "'ce sont" are fixed.

"ces" is only a demonstrative adjective you use before a noun: ces hommes/femmes = these/those men/women

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BernieFolan

To say (about my dog) "He is male" - should I say "Il est male" or "C'est male"?

March 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

C'est un mâle.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rach480130

Wouldnt "these are the men" also be correct?

May 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AbenaChris1

I put "These are men" and I got it right.

November 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JacobGrindstaff

Isn't ce sont, these are!!

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

« Ce sont » can mean “They are” or “These are” or “Those are”

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PennyFoste1

Is there a rule for using ce sont instead of ils sont?

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Yes. If there were a descriptive adjective or prepositional phrase for people, it would be:

« Ils sont forts. » or « Ils sont au parc. »

an un modified adverb « Il est tard. »

or a noun with no articles « Il est médecin. »,

but a noun with an article (le, la, l’, les, du, de la, de l’ or des) or a possessive adjective (mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes, son, sa, ses, notre, nos, votre, vos, leur, leurs) then it must be:

« Ce sont des hommes. »

and an adjective describing a situation « C’est bizarre. »,

a proper name « C’est Luc. »

and a modified adverb « C’est trop tard. »

https://www.thoughtco.com/french-expressions-cest-vs-il-est-4083779

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaWolven

C'est - comes before articles. Il/elle est - comes when no articles are present.

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Good catch, thank you!

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/christiesp

I thought in French there was always an article before the noun.

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Usually, except for when stating someone’s profession name. “I am a doctor.”
« Je suis médecin. »

Scroll up or down for more information.

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/1brandon_E

I get really confused here. In fact, I have a problem with the notes, it says c'est is for Impersonal Subject Pronoun and il/elle est is for Personal Subject Pronoun.

My question here is what is a Impersonal Subject Pronoun and Personal Subject Pronoun? And then Why can't I say: "ils sont des hommes?"

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

A personal subject pronoun is he or she or they or I or we or you. An impersonal subject pronoun would be it or (this or that) or (these or those). In French, that doesn’t indicate how to translate though, because there are many special rules about when to use (il or elle) or (ils or elles) and when to use c’est or ce sont.
You must say « Ce sont des hommes. ». You do not have a choice,

So their impersonal subject pronoun ce or c’ can mean “it” or “they” or (“this” or “that”, they do not differentiate these which is why in French they are not demonstrative pronouns, because you won’t know if they are here or there.) or (“these” or “those”).

So, if there is an article in front of the noun (le, la, l’, les, du, de la, de l’, des) whether definite or indefinite or a possessive adjective (ma, mon, mes, ta, ton, tes, sa, son, ses, notre, nos, votre, vos), then you must use « c’est... » for singular or « ce sont... » for plural.

https://www.thoughtco.com/french-expressions-cest-vs-il-est-4083779

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/smatprabby

Merci. My original answer was "These are men," but it was, apparently wrong. Your answer is helpful, but I am still puzzled as to why google translate says "Ils sont des hommes" and "Ce sont des hommes" both mean "They are men." And if you ask for a translation of "These are men," google translate says "Ce sont des hommes." !

April 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Google translate usually translates word by word, but that does not account for grammar. Someone may have corrected the particular translation for the English to French so that helps it to be correct. Your translation is also correct and you could report it, but the entire point of these exercises is to notice the English to French requirement and maybe by allowing “these” and “those” the reverse sentences might randomly ask with those words instead of with “they”. Perhaps this can be corrected sentence by sentence.

April 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/smatprabby

Merci.

April 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PennyFoste1

Ok, so this is a rule

April 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mert553284

Why is it that when we say "we are man" we say "Nous sommes des hommes", but when we say "they are men" we have to say "Ce sont des hommes" and not "Ils sont des hommes"?

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

I am a man. We are men. Possibly typo? Good question. “Ils sont hommes.”, but “Ce sont des hommes.” There are very specific rules when to use “Ce sont” or “C’est” and when to use “ils sont” or “il est”.

https://www.thoughtco.com/french-expressions-cest-vs-il-est-4083779

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cmuehl

Why is it not "That are men."?

February 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mitochondria1

That is used for the singular noun and men is plural

April 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Israelol

I am not a native english speaker. Would "It's men" be correct? For example: if it is late in the night and suddenly I hear noise outside, and it comes from men laughing out loud, woud it be correct to say "It's (just) men"?

August 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cemotto

"It's men" would be correct, but it would be better to say "it's some men" or "it's just some men" in the situation you describe.

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/meredith.s

To say "It's just men" in that scenario would be totally acceptable, dont listen to the other comment saying it would be better to say "its just SOME men"...the way you said it is every bit as common and acceptable

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AngelGee4

Yes, "It's (just) men" is correct.

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SamanthaTopham

Why is it not "Ce sont les hommes"?

March 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

This is the translation for "They are the men".

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GuyLearnFrench

'This is some men' doesnt work and why?

October 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesyRx

Because "This is" are singular, and "some men" is plural. You would say, These are our dogs, not This is our dogs. However, I still don't get the Ce vs. Ces in this question.

November 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

It is always « ce sont », because «ce » is a pronoun that is invariable while « ces » is an adjective and must have a plural noun with it. «  Ces hommes sont ici. » is « These men are here. » or “Those men are here.” depending on where in the conversation they were mentioned. Oh English can use the singular pronoun sometimes in front of a statement about more than one person “ It’s them!” Duh, duh duh!

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaIramendy

I don't understand this. Isn't ce a demonstrative adjective meaning thes? why is translated as They are men. Any one can comment?

March 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

For "ce" to be a demonstrative adjective, you need a masculine singular noun to follow:

  • ce chien, ce joli manteau
January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Yes, “ce” is used as a demonstrative pronoun here. In English we could use demonstrative pronouns here also We could say “They are men.”, “Those are men.” or “These are men.” The difference is that you cannot say “ils sont des hommes.” in French, so the lesson is concentrating on teaching us that even for “They are men.”, it is required to use “Ce sont des hommes.”

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kiddkiddo

Did I hear 'des' as dez? is a liaison made because 'des' ends with a consonant and 'hommes' begins with an 'h'?

August 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Hommes" has a mute H and therefore a liaison is possible: des hommes = dezom

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nina739039

what is "des"????

January 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"Des" is the plural of "un" or "une" and it is required with the meaning of "more than one.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TurianSniper

Why is "They are some men" wrong? Not the most natural translation, but should still be valid I think.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Exactly, it is not natural English. If you were talking about quantity, you would say “Some of them are men.” This statement is about identity. “They are men.” (not boys) In English there is an expression, “They are some men.” said with emphasis on the word “some” which would mean that they are special in some way which would require an adjective in French. At least that last one exists in American English, I am not sure if British English also has that expression.

Now you could say “There are some men.” , but that would be “Il y a des hommes.” which is about their existence or you could point and say “Voilà les hommes.” which is an expression for “There are the men.” with an emphasis on where they are.

You could say “They are just some men.” (What did you think they were?) but again that would require an added word in French as well.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TarekMSala

i don't think i'll ever get this! The sad part is i grew up in Egypt and studied french all the way till 9th grade when i moved to the USA, i used to know french, now i'm 40 & trying to learn it again & it seems impossible..C'est impossible..there you go, lol

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/dinkarinjosh

Why not These are men? Thanks in advance.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Technically, yes, but we are more likely to say “They are men.” if they are close to us and possibly “Those are men.” if they are far and someone wasn’t sure what was over there.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pam520742

Ce sont des hommes can = Those are the men, they are the men etc. Correct??

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

No, that would be “Ce sont les hommes.”

“Ce sont des hommes.” could be “They are men.”, “These are men.” or “Those are men.” “Ce” is not specific as to where.” which is why “They are men.” might be the better translation. “Ceux-ci sont des hommes.” would actually be “These are men.” and “Ceux-là sont des hommes.” would actually be “Those are men.”

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AngelGee4

because "ci" is here and 'la' is there?

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Yes, “ici” is the word for “here”, but the combined form “Ceux-ci” is the masculine plural form (technically, “these ones here”) which is translated to the demonstrative pronoun “These”. The location “there” is “là” and “over there” is “là-bas” and “ceux-là is the masculine plural form (technically, “those ones there”) which is the demonstrative pronoun “Those”. The location “there” is not to be confused with the expression “There is...” or “There are...” which are really about existence: “Il y a...”

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AngelGee4

my brain remembers these here & those there. That's how i connect ceux-ci with here and ceux-la with those :)

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Aquicha2

Am I the only one who have problems hearing the 's' in hommes?

July 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

No, the ‘s’ in “hommes” is not usually supposed to be pronounced and is silent here as it should be. https://www.thoughtco.com/beginning-french-pronunciation-1369548

There are times when a normally silent ending letter is pronounced. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2004908/French-liaisons-between-words

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pe-tex
  • 1143

I am not hearing the difference between Ce and C'est

September 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Ce sounds a bit like [suh] really just a schwa sound though, and C’est sounds a bit like [say] without the y sound.

Listen to native speakers here: https://forvo.com/search/Ce%20%20C%e2%80%99est/

September 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pe-tex
  • 1143

that link is very useful. thx! playing the sentence slow and fast on duolingo sounds different sometimes..

September 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

“C’est” is the word “ce” combined with the verb “est” into a contraction. Does the slow version separate that out? I know for sure that the slow version goes word by word so it ignores liaisons, but I thought that the contraction was kept together. Always listen to the regular or (fast) one afterwards to hear the liaisons. Here is a great link about liaisons: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/pronunciation/liaisons/

September 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HunterUHD

I typed "These are men" why was I corrected?

Isn't "Ce" These and They?

October 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Ce can be these or those and there are specific ways to specify which, so “they” is the better translation here when talking about people.

November 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Austin353271

what is the difference here?

November 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Difference between what and what? Please copy what you entered if you want us to help you.

November 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ValentinSe14370

What is wrong to say "ils sont des hommes." Does it not mean "ils sont"= they are?

December 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

There are strict rules in French when to use “ils sont” or “il est” and when to use “ce sont” or “c’est”. https://www.thoughtco.com/french-expressions-cest-vs-il-est-4083779

February 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinK761275

It just does not like the way I'm saying 'hommes.' Doesn't it rhyme with Holmes, just without the hard H?

January 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

No, it is not a long o sound, there is no l sound at all and no s sound. In a different sentence with a word that follows with a beginning vowel sound, the s will sound like a z and attach itself to that following word in what they call a liaison. Since “hommes” begins with a vowel sound, there is a liaison from the s in “des” which sounds like a z attached to it. Some French people will add a schwa sound for the e in hommes when it is the last word of a sentence or when there is a consonant sound next. https://forvo.com/search/Des%20hommes/

This is the open O sound described in the link below as sounding like the o in the English word “ton”: https://www.thoughtco.com/french-pronunciation-of-o-1369576

I don’t know if it helps, but my way of showing the sound to myself is [seh sō(nasal) dā zum]

January 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Nope61604

um... cant you say both of these?

January 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

Both of which?

January 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PhinnyaLal

Can it be ce sont les hommes

February 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ALLintolearning3

No, that would be “They are the men.”

February 17, 2019
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