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"Those are good men."

Translation:Ce sont des hommes bons.

January 26, 2013



For those wondering: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/de-vs-du-de-la-des_2.htm The rule is apparently: When the plural indefinite or partitive article is used with an adjective that precedes a noun, des changes to de.


why is it de bons hommes and des hommes bonnes, how do you determine wether it's de or des (or du for that matter)?


I believe it's because the adjective 'les' is not necessary (since it is replaced by 'bons'), and des and du are only used when you need to contract de + les (into des) and de + le (into du).


Why "ce" and not "ces"? Ces should be "those" and ce "that".


It is how they say "c'est" in the plural in French. You cannot say "ces sont." No point asking why, it;s for contingent historical reasons, no logic to it. "Ces" cannot be used with a verb by itself, it can only qualify a noun, e.g. "ces chaussures" (these shoes).


I don't understand. I put "Ce sont des bons hommes" because, 'They are'.. des for plural hommes.. 'good' first because of the BAGS rule then 'men' plural, but it's wrong? Isn't the adjective of 'good' supposed to come before the noun 'men'? And don't we use des instead of de because it's describing a plural noun? Or have I missed something..?


There is the issue of figurative versus literal when placing adjectives before or after the noun.

Figurative adjectives go before the noun. Literal adjectives go after the noun. This means in English when we sometimes don't know exactly what an adjective actually means, in French we do.

In English.....my old school doesn't tell us whether old is subjective/figurative as in former or whether it is objective/literal as In been there for a long time.

But in French the placement of the adjective tells us which meaning applies.

Subjective/ figurative (adjective in front).......Mon ancienne école is my old (former) school. Objective/ literal (adjective after) ................Mon école ancienne is my old (ancient) school.

Of course, some adjectives start getting a little hazy as to when it is subjective and when it is objective. A good example is bon . I guess a good conversationalist would be subjectively good where as a person who is good because he did good things like charity work would be objectively good. Needless to say there is lots of room for judgmental issues to arise since adjectives are subjective by definition.

Sometimes Duo introduces new concepts in an oblique manner which requires research effort on the part of students.

I found all this and more about adjectives at



this is an amazing explanation....thanks so much


A handy/dandy rule to simplify the judgmental issues is the B.A.G.S. method which asks for placement of relevant adjectives in front of the noun.



G....goodness or badness

S.....size (except for grand when applied to people).

You can see that all these categories are likely to be pretty subjective.

Needless to say there are plenty of exceptions some of which might not seem to make sense but that's just how it is.


Dont forget "N" for number. B.A.N.G.S :)


Thank you, very insightful..


I semi get all that but I'm quite sure it won't actually sink in until after getting this sentence structure wrong so many times in the future lol


I put: Ce sont de bons hommes and it marked it as correct. Can it be either? Or, does the quality of 'goodness' come after the noun?


That's a good question... I also know that "goodness" comes before the noun usually (the instructor in that lesson did say there were exceptions, though). Probably "des" makes a difference here, but since you changed it to "de," that makes it acceptable. I believe "des" becomes "de" before an adjective.


There was an explanation included the on of the first adjective lessons on this program that said adjectives are placed after nouns with the exception of certain adjectives contained in the acronym BANGS: Beauty, Age, Number, Good/Bad, Size. So adjectives in these categories, such as "bon", may also come before the noun


why can't it be "ce sont les hommes bons"?


That would be like saying they are THE good men. As in they are the only men on the earth that are good.


Why cannot this be said using "Il y a..."?


I put "Ces sont des bons hommes" and got it wrong?


I put 'Ce sont des bons hommes' and I got it wrong. Why? Any help would be appreciated!


when you have an adjective preceding the noun the preceding 'des' becomes ' de' - don't ask me why, I think there are explanations elsewhere on this thread - it's just a rule.


I thought 'beauty, age, goodness and size' went before noun. Should it not be 'ce sont des bons hommes'?


Same confusion as above two posts and still really don't understand why you can use de as I thought des had to be used for plurals and I thought les was plural when there is 'the' before the noun.


Why "bon" and not "bien"? I thought calling someone "bon" in French had a sexual connotation?


'Bon' is an adjective, so it is used to qualify a noun. 'Bien' is an adverb, so it is used to qualify a verb. It is like 'good' and 'well' in English. They are 'good' men, not 'well' men. So, one does 'well', but one is 'good'. On fait quelque chose 'bien', mais on est 'bon'. I don't know about the sexual connotation. Maybe it depends on your tone of voice. :) Anyway, I think I have that correct and I hope it helps.


Thanks! I asked a French person and apparently bon has a sexual connotation more for girls than for guys. Be careful when you tell a girl she's bon!! She wouldn't even take it as a compliment, it kind of means something like you're a good ❤❤❤❤.

So in banlieue there are people saying stuff like wesh mam'zelle t'es trop bonne!!!


do you people even read why you've got something wrong? and i quote: Correct solutions: Ce sont de bons hommes. Ce sont des hommes bons. "Des" changes to "de" when there is an adjective before the noun.


Don't be mean, some people have difficulty with languages. Obviously you don't, and that is fortunate for you.


what i'm trying to say is: if you make a mistake here, you'll see a box below which exactly explains what you've got wrong, people should read that first before asking unnecessary questions, also i don't believe that anyone is bad at learning languages, i believe that some people are bad at choosing how to learn a language, everyone has his/her method of learning a language, some people just haven't found it yet.


The reason given in the box is not always correct. The comment I received was I was wrong because I had missed a word when in fact I had made another entirely different error which the questions and answers here have explained. Yes, sometimes the questions are repetitive but Duolingo users are learning at many different levels so that is inevitable.


The computer doesn't know what people are trying to say. It just looks for errors it's programmed to find and to give specified error reports.

if you make a spelling mistake it doesn't know that. It just knows that the only way for the sentence that you wrote to make sense is that something has to change.

Eg: Your spelling mistake may be an obscure but perfectly valid word. Of course it's not what you intended to write but the computer will accept it and then find a gender or tense disagreement with the rest of the otherwise correct statement. A student may think it's obvious what they intended to actually write but it isn't to the computer. It finds an error and stops there. I enter the wrong person for the verb and the computer finds the error elsewhere even though when I look at it closely, I can't believe I made such an obvious error with the conjugation.

As helenvee points out, that's what comments pages are for when it's not clear what the real error is.


One of the correct solutions was "Ces hommes-là sont bons." Why is the 'la' used?


Ces hommes vs. Ces hommes-là? Is the là necessary? I thought it just made it more specific.


I put "Ce sont les hommes bons". The right answer is "Ce sont des hommes bons". I get confused as to when to put "les" vs "des". How to differentiate it?


My Ces hommes sont bons was marked wrong as I omitted the -là. Should it have been? I thought it was only needed to add clarity.

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