"They are babies."

Translation:Ce sont des bébés.

February 3, 2013

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Anine
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why is 'Ils sont des bébés' wrong?

February 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sashee

In French, when you have an expression such as "he/she is", either "il/elle est" or "c'est" is used, depending on how the sentence is structured.

Here is a great tutorial on that: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm

The singular version of the sentence here would be: "c'est un bébé". You have to use "c'est" because it is followed by a modified noun, un bébé. The plural form of "c'est" is "ce sont", hence -- "ce sont des bébés"..

Hope this helps.

September 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/skevia

So why was the previous audio exercise "Il est le bébé de la famille" and not c'est... ?

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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Hmmm, 9 months ago, but here goes anyway. "Il est le bébé" is an exception to the rule regarding "c'est" because it refers to "the baby" of the family (i.e., there's only one of those). In such a case, you can use "Il est" or "Elle est" or "C'est".

March 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PsnDth

Doesn't this mean "those are babies" out of context ...?

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Meaning and translation are different in this case:

  • they are babies = "ce sont des bébés"
  • these/those are babies = "ceux-ci/ceux-là sont des bébés", or "ce sont des bébés".

What you have to remember is that you should not use "ils sont des bébés"

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
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Why isn't this "Ces sont des bébés." ?

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"ces" is an adjective. This expression is constructed with "ce": in singular "c'est" (because est starts with a vowel, the 'e' is replaced by an apostrophe) and in plural "ce sont".

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
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Ah, that makes perfect sense now, thanks!

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AyoCodring
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Don't understand why this is not Ils sont. Doesn't make sense!

April 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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Please read this excellent page: click here

April 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lisaskier

I was just marked correct for writing " Ils sont bébés" but reading through this thread I now wonder if I should have been marked wrong? I am SO confused!

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Ils sont bébés" is an unusual construction, where "bébés" is used as an adjective as you would say "they are little".

If you use "bébés" as a noun, you need to change "ils sont" to "ce sont".

  • he/she is a baby = c'est un bébé
  • they are babies = ce sont des bébés

The same applies with other nouns that can be used as adjectives, like professions and a few others like "élève (pupil), étudiant (student), témoin (witness), victime (victim), membre (member)...".

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Leon_T
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How do you know when to use ils/elles or ce?

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
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When the English is "he/she is + determiner + noun", you translate "c 'est + determiner + noun). "they are + determiner + noun" = "ce sont + (determiner) + noun"

he is a baby = c'est un bébé

she is a baby = c'est un bébé

they are babies = ce sont des bébés

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KirkMarkSpinks
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I got it wrong because I neglected to type 'des' (tired)...buuut, Duo gave the 'correct' answer as "ils sont bebes" which kinda threw me to be fair; and throws some ambiguity on the discussions around the necessity of 'ce' and 'des'? o_O

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You were taught that professions (after verbs être and devenir) do not need an article, because of their duality (nouns or adjectives or nouns acting like adjectives):

  • he is an actor = il est acteur

In parallel, you were taught that "il/elle est" + modified noun (= determiner + noun) have to change to "c'est + modified noun" ( in plural: "ce sont")

  • he is an actor = c'est un acteur.

The alternative translation you mention shows that not only professions can get a single noun after "être" and "devenir". Some nouns, giving the subject a "status" can also behave the same way (ie "real" noun or adjective):

  • he is a good student = il est bon élève OR c'est un bon élève
  • he is a victim = il est victime OR c'est une victime (une victime is always feminine)
  • he is a baby = il est bébé OR c'est un bébé
  • he is a witness = il est témoin OR c'est un témoin
  • they are good friends = ils sont bons amis (adj) OR ce sont de bons amis
December 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Luchita347407

The hover hint shows 'ils' and 'elles'.

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bellemuse
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Ils sont des bébés should mean "they are babies" shouldn't it?

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"Ils/Elles sont des" has to change to "Ce sont des".

As a rule, "il/elle est" change to "c'est" and "ils/elles sont" to "ce sont" when they are followed by a modified noun (determiner + noun).

These determiners can be articles, numbers, demonstrative, possessive or indefinite adjectives.

  • he is a baby = c'est un bébé
  • she is my daughter girl = c'est ma fille
  • they are three of my best friends = ce sont trois de mes meilleur(e)s ami(e)s

http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MargaretOt5

Still scratching my head

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielCIS

u wrong

May 30, 2014
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