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Ce sont vs elles & ils sont

I do not get the difference between "ce sont" and "ils/elles sont", if all three can be translated as "they are", but "they are" can only be translated as "ce sont". Could anyone help with that one, please?

January 22, 2013



If the word is followed by an adjective, it's generally "il est" (/ils sont), and if the word is followed by a determiner and a noun, "c'est" (/ce sont). For example, "il est gentil" (he's nice), "il est journaliste" (he's a journalist), "ils sont français" (they are French), ... and "ce sont ses chiens" (these are his dogs), "c'est lui" (that's him), "c'est cool" (that's cool), "c'est mon anniversaire" (it's my birthday), ... As you can see, "c'est" and "ce sont" are usually translated by "this", "that", ...


Thank you very much! And in "they are children", is it wrong to translate it as "ils sont les enfants"? Because Duolingo considers it a mistake.


it should be "ce sont des enfants" because the verb is followed by a determiner and noun (des enfants). also, it should be "des" not "les" since "des" implies that the predicate nominative/direct object is plural, while "les" means "the," implying that the group of children is a specific group.

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