"These are not tomatoes."
Translation:To nie są pomidory.
Why don't we use ci in this case when we say "these"? Is it because ci is speaking of specific items?
Could i say ci pomidory nie są jabłka? (I'm assuming it's ci because tomatoes are male personal? Or am I really lost now? Tomatoes are magically animate, i do recall.
It's true that tomatoes are 'magically animate', but at least nothing is 'magically personal'. So "ci" can only be used with people - with plurals of masculine nouns describing people.
Also, your sentence apart from using "Te" (Te pomidory) should also use Instrumental for apples: "Te pomidory nie są jabłkami".
What I was trying to explain was that "te" could be used only if the subject of the sentence was "these tomatoes", but the subject here is "these", it's a dummy pronoun.
The dummy pronoun (e.g. "[This/That/It] is a tomato", "[These/Those/They]" are tomatoes" (they will be used relatively rarely) always translates to "To" (and its forms for other cases), regardless of the gender and grammatical number of what it refers to.
Any sentence starting with "This/That is", "These/Those are", no matter the grammatical gender or number, will start with "To" which then serves as the subject of the sentence and not any kind of a determiner.
And if anything, "These" would be translated as "Te". "These tomatoes" = "Te pomidory".