"Are they the children of the men and women?"
de + les = des -- so I believe the "de les" is not correct. In the singular, de + le = du and de + la = de la (no change).
So, depending on context, "des" can be literally "of the..." or more generally mean "some", etc. In school, it helped me to think of this literally, e.g. "Donne moi des pommes" would be, in my mind, "Give me [some number] of the apples," or more simply "Give me some apples."
Question: Are they the children of the men and women?
Correct solutions: 1. Sont-ce les enfants des hommes et des femmes 2. Sont-ils les enfants des hommes et des femmes ?
I understand second solution but can someone please explain me what "ce" means? If "sont-ils" means "are they" (masculine) than I supose that "sont-ce" should be "are they" (feminine). Am I right? And why is there ce and not elles? Is that some short version of "elles" or something?