"Ce sont des enfants."

Translation:They are children.

January 27, 2013

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gareth321

Why not "elles or ils" instead of "ce"? Or does it not matter?

February 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Marc_Wayne

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, not to mention 'Ce' doesn't seem to be on the 'conjugate' list.

February 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Peyton_Braun

same here, why does "ils" and "ce" mean the same thing? whats the difference?

March 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/remigio.chilaule

Same here. Strange nobody replied to this thread. Anyone?

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/--Ashley

'Ce' is used when there's an article or a possessive in front of the noun.

Ce sont des enfants. ('Des' is the article therefore you must use 'ce')

Elle est une enfant. (There is no article or possesive therefore you use 'elle')

November 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TreasaWilson

une is an article, or do you mean a definite article? And I wouldn't have said des was an article. Still confused.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

No, the rule is all articles, definite or indefinite. "Elle est une enfant" is incorrect, that would also be "C'est un enfant".

"des" is an article, it's the plural indefinite article. There is no English equivalent, but in French it's the required plural of "un/une".

The whole rule is basically that "il/elle est" and "ils/elles sont" change to "c'est" and "ce sont" before a modified noun, that is, a noun preceded by a modifier. A modifier can be:

  • an article: un, une, des, le, la, l', les
  • a number: un, deux...
  • a possessive adjective: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur, mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs
  • a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette, ces

These articles go into more detail and are worth a read.
http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

Also, the Tips and Notes for the Gallicism skill (click the lightbulb icon when you open the skill) give more information.

November 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hannah72004

When describing people and things with a noun after être in French, you usually can't use the personal subject pronoun like il, elle, ils, and elles. Instead, you must use the impersonal pronoun ce, which can also mean "this" or "that". Note that ce is invariable, so it can never be ces sont.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

Basically, "il/elle est" and "ils/elles sont" change to "c'est" and "ce sont" before a modified noun, that is, a noun preceded by a modifier. A modifier can be:

  • an article: un, une, des, le, la, l', les
  • a number: un, deux...
  • a possessive adjective: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur, mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs
  • a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette, ces

These articles go into more detail and are worth a read.
http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

Also, the Tips and Notes for the Gallicism skill (click the lightbulb icon when you open the skill) give more information.

November 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KungKras

This sentence failed me when I wrote 'kids' instead of 'children'

May 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/yasinzolfaghar

because kids is "des gamins" and "des enfants" is children . i don't think they are interchangeable since duolingo really insist

April 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dianar

Why is it not "ces sont des enfants?

January 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/patlaf

"Ces" is a demonstrative adjective. It doesn't behave as a noun, it can only modify a noun, so you can say "Ces enfants" to mean "Those children" but you can not say "Ces sont", because "Ces" is not a pronoun, so it cannot be the subject of a sentence.

For this sentence you need a demonstrative pronoun. It's harder to explain which one to choose, but I suggest you check out these sites:

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns_demonstrative.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefinite-demonstrative-pronoun.htm

January 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/thazrail

so this can not be "these are the kids" (ce sont des enfants)

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Plural definite article = les. = the

Plural indefinite article des is treated is treated as some in English. As such it can generally be dropped without changing the meaning. French does not provide that option.

It is a good practice when learning French to include the optional some in your translations of French to English to remind yourself that it is required in French, as well as keeping the focus on the definite/indefinite distinction.

English conversation is usually sloppy about making clear the difference between the particular, the general and the indefinite. Unless it is important the difference is optional, leaving context with the burden of clarity. French requires that the difference be acknowledged in some fashion.

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkGirvan

I don't think English is sloppy, it is less rules driven and is very flexible. If it was actually sloppy how is it that people aren't actually confused in conversation and need to seek clarification about the difference?

March 4, 2017

[deactivated user]

    Kids should be accepted.

    June 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/vijayanandm

    how to identify plural from when listening french words in a sentence

    in this example, i heard like "de enfant", but it is des enfants.

    Please help

    January 27, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Erick_Gomez

    I'm not french but i've noticed that "le" and "de" when plural "les" and "des" the E sounds more like an E and not like a U when singular.

    February 9, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nicolas127684

    If you read de enfant, actually there is no "de enfant" it must be d'enfant (danfan) And des enfants, the first "s" becomes /z/ sound so it would be like "dezanfan"

    May 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Flawless_IMO

    Why can't it be "They are kids"???

    July 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/smatprabby

    Why not "These are children"?

    April 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    That is also correct and accepted.

    November 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ishaque

    why not c'est des enfants, what's the difference b/w the two?

    February 27, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/chris868

    "Ce sont" is the plural of "C'est" "They are" vs "this is"...and des enfants is of course plural.

    March 14, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/fificat1

    Why isn't it 'there are children'?

    August 15, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/skywalkerb

    I think that would be "Il y a des enfants" or something like that

    September 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/simplica

    Is des different from les? Eg. Ce sont les enfants

    August 29, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/mr_french

    Des = some (plural).

    Les = the (plural).

    October 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nicolas127684

    Why can't it be Ils sont des enfants or because of the ind' article des ??? I think It becomes C'est or ce sont all the times there is an article

    May 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    Basically, "il/elle est" and "ils/elles sont" change to "c'est" and "ce sont" before a modified noun, that is, a noun preceded by a modifier. A modifier can be:

    • an article: un, une, des, le, la, l', les
    • a number: un, deux...
    • a possessive adjective: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur, mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs
    • a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette, ces

    These articles go into more detail and are worth a read.
    http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
    https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

    Also, the Tips and Notes for the Gallicism skill (click the lightbulb icon when you open the skill) give more information.

    November 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Noah950716

    In this sentence, why is the word 'Ils' replaced with 'ce'?

    May 31, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    Basically, "il/elle est" and "ils/elles sont" change to "c'est" and "ce sont" before a modified noun, that is, a noun preceded by a modifier. A modifier can be:

    • an article: un, une, des, le, la, l', les
    • a number: un, deux...
    • a possessive adjective: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur, mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs
    • a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette, ces

    These articles go into more detail and are worth a read.
    http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
    https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

    Also, the Tips and Notes for the Gallicism skill (click the lightbulb icon when you open the skill) give more information.

    November 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/AshtonJC

    I get when you say "ce sont, instead of "ils sont," but how do you say "they were kids" in French?

    July 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    "Ils/Elles ├ętaient des gamins."

    November 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pam520742

    So when the 'people, place or things' nouns 'they' have or are referring to are plural things 'they' must indicate that so C' Ce is used. Is that correct and a good way to describe it?

    July 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    Not exactly. Basically, "il/elle est" and "ils/elles sont" change to "c'est" and "ce sont" before a modified noun, that is, a noun preceded by a modifier. A modifier can be:

    • an article: un, une, des, le, la, l', les
    • a number: un, deux...
    • a possessive adjective: mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur, mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs
    • a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette, ces

    These articles go into more detail and are worth a read.
    http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
    https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-grammar/cest-versus-il-elle-est

    Also, the Tips and Notes for the Gallicism skill (click the lightbulb icon when you open the skill) give more information.

    November 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pam520742

    Why does not Duo use this difference from the beginning, instead of teaching what I can only presume is 'baby talk' that has to be unlearnt or changed?

    July 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    What difference, and what are you presuming is "baby talk"? Do you mean the difference between "ils sont" and "ce sont"?

    November 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ReneeG13

    Kids or children, the same

    December 3, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    "kids" = "gamins"
    "enfants" = "children"

    December 3, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Polly4312

    Not these are?

    December 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

    That's also accepted, provided the rest of the sentence is correct.

    December 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/La_Mariette

    Is it more common (although incorrect) to hear "C'est des enfants" in spoken French? I get the idea "ce sont" is not used that often.

    December 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Star196566

    Why is They are kids wrong?

    January 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/RayneWolf13

    Why isnt "they are kids" correct? Children and kids mean the same thing.

    January 20, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/rafbyron

    Same question why not ills

    January 24, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/La_Mariette

    Because with the verb "to be" in French, you only use "ce" with nouns. "Ils sont" will be followed by an adjective.

    January 25, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah904700

    Kids should be accepted

    January 24, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Marky993774

    Kids= children

    January 30, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/La_Mariette

    "Kids" are more informal...

    January 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/hstrozier

    How can "Ce" suddenly take the place of "Ils"? Please explain.

    February 3, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/ionut22222

    Why children is the only correct form? I mean, doesn't "kids" mean the same thing as children?

    February 23, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/JuliaKarus

    Kids and children are synonyms. Why answer "kids" is a mistake?

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/ToonyGamerYT

    Why children and not kids?

    March 24, 2019
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