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
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. »
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?"
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.
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." !
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.
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”.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.”
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...”
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
“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/
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
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]