"They are superior to them."
Translation:Elles sont supérieures à eux.
Can someone please explain this? Why is the reverse of the answer ("Elles... ils") not allowed? And I thought elles/ils couldn't be used as object, only as subject?
Because the indirect object pronoun for "ils" is "eux" (unlike "elles" which does not change from subject to object)
"elles sont supérieures à eux"
Once again a fine explanation, Sitesurf. - Et quand vous êtes supérieur à moi, il faut avoir supérieur avec s ou sans s? Et pourquoi (pas)?
Of course, with "vous", being either a polite singular or a plural pronoun, you can get a singular or a plural adjective, combined with a masculine or a feminine gender, depending on context (= 4 variants).
The preposition "à" belongs to the adjective "supérieur".
After a preposition, you need a stressed/disjunctive pronoun:
- supérieur(e)(s) à... moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles
If a verb is constructed with the preposition "à", the object pronoun is placed before the verb in its indirect form:
- l'homme... me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur... parle
Can this sentence mean that "They are superior to them", as in "better than /better quality", and also that that they are of "a higher rank" in an organization?
Oui, although the phrasing would differ a bit: "ce sont leurs supérieur(e)s", with "supérieur(e)s" as a noun.
"leur" is invariable as a pronoun
"sont" is the correct spelling for "they are"
Here's an idle question: Could "They are superior to them" be translated "Ils leur sont supérieurs" in a context where the "them" was understood to be all female (i.e., an equivalent sentence to "Ils sont supérieurs à elles") ? Or does "leur" have to be read as equiv. to à eux?
(And leurs is only used as an adjective, correct--to describe a plural noun that some "they" own?)
Yes, "to them" translates to indirect personal pronoun "leur" in masculine and feminine as well, no mark of plural either, when placed in front of the verb:
- ils leur sont supérieurs
Possessive adjective "leurs" means "their" in front of a plural masculine or feminine noun, whichever the gender of the owner.
- ils ont leurs manteaux (masc); elles ont leurs vestes (fem)
Stressed pronoun "eux" is used after prepositions (de/d', pour, par, avec, sans...) and represents masculine plural objects
- il est parti avec eux (masc); il est parti avec elles (fem)
After a preposition, you have to use the stressed pronouns:
- à moi, à toi, à lui, à elle, à nous, à vous, à eux (masc), à elles (fem)
"Leur", as an indirect pronoun is used before the verb and without "à": ils leur sont supérieurs (leur = à eux or à elles)
That is very helpful and very hard to adjust to. I remember HS french more than college french because we did so many reps of the same kind of issue and wrote them out. Is there a French grammar text you suggest to such people who need reps? Another issue I have is that most of the conjugations are in french and are not translated, so I have no idea what the English version is...except a few examples on thoughtco. And is there a way to search this site for all your comments for grammar tips? They are very succinct and clearer so they stick better.
Since the Activity Thread has disappeared, there is no way to collect my previous comments. However, in 5 years I have posted so many it would need ages to gather them.
How can that be? You mean duolingo made a mistake! And no, I am not aware of why it is wrong.
It can happen if Duo believes it is a typo. "Ils" needs "supérieurs" and "elles" goes with "supérieures".
That makes sense. If I got this correctly, "ils" is used where their are men and women in the group and elles for a group of women.
Apparently, you have not understood this sentence or the various usages and translations for "they" and "them", which can be humans, animals or things, and masculine or feminine.