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  5. "Ce sont des robes."

"Ce sont des robes."

Translation:These are dresses.

February 8, 2013



Why not use ces since the verb is plural sont ?


The impersonal expression "c'est" changes to "ce sont" when followed by a plural noun. "Ce" is a pronoun in the phrase "c'est" / "ce sont".

"Ce" does not change to "ces" (not: ces sont).

"Ces" is not a pronoun. It is an adjective that is used only when it is followed by a plural noun.


Really beautiful explanation! I'll let you know, you're a really wonderful waffle! :D


Why is it "These are dresses" and not "These are some dresses"? Can't it be both? Why not?


Both "These are dresses" and "These are some dresses" are correct and versions with "some" have been added to the accepted answers.


Can i use: "Ce sont robes"? Do i have to use Des?


in french, you need to use des or les in front of a noun, either these are (some) dresses, or these are the dresses.


Maybe you can help me darkangelz5: Why isn't the answer ce sont les robes? I feel like maybe it's because of the gender but I can't remember - merci!


well there is a difference between les and des. les means "the" and try to think of des as either "some" or you can also just think of it as a word that needs to be there if not using "les" ("the"). in this example, "these are dresses", the word "the" is not in there, which is why you should use "des". as for the context of the sentence, think of it as saying, "here are some dresses" (in general) rather than "here are THE dresses" (for example the dresses you've been looking for or the dresses you're referring to in specific)... nothing to do with gender btw.


ohhhh thank you so much! So is that a rule? that if you're going to omit the article in a sentence in French you put des in there?


Right, I mean you can't make rules for everything in grammar, but it helps to identify language patterns in order to start forming your own sentences - but thanks for all the help! merci! :)


Well, now be careful. In English there are two times that we don't put an article with a plural noun. When we mean "some", but this word is optional and that is the case for this sentence.

The other time is for a generalization, for example: "People eat food." In French, they use the definite article for a generalization, so it would be "Les gens mangent la nourriture."



I suppose so.. that's kind of a weird way to look at it. i just know you need to put les or des in front of a noun... i'm not sure if there could be other substitutes since i'm not an advanced french speaker.


So "they are dresses" is incorrect why again?


It sounds awkward, unless if some people just randomly turned into dresses. In this case it definitely means "these are dresses."


Why not There are dresses?


There are or there is has it's own phrase in French, "Il y a". It means "there is" and it is used for both plural and singular cases. Ex. Il y a des robes. There are dresses.


I know all about "il y a" already. I just wondered if in French one could say the same thing in more than one way. You are saying there is only one way to express the thought - correct?


(there are/is) is used when something exists in a room or stuff , and when you would point something you should use (they are) , i think it's the differnce.


What is the difference in the pronunciation of "robe" and "robes"?


They sound the same when spoken aloud.


I just want to get this straight, you use "ce" when your talking about an inanimate object(s), and you use "ils/ells" when your talking about living things with genders (girls/boys/animals/etc.)?


Thank you for your help.


I typed ce sont des robes and it told me it was wrong . What part of the sentence did i go wrong ?


That depends on the type of exercise. If it was type what you hear, that was correct and being marked wrong was a bug. But if it was translation from French to English, for example, you were meant to write your answer in English rather than French.


Why not "robes" are clothes ?


"clothes" is "vĂȘtements" in French. "robes" are specifically dresses.


How would you say they are dresses then?


why would 'they are dresses' have to be 'ce sont des robes' and not 'elles sont des robes'?


I believe "elles" is used for living beings, not objects... Here, because dresses are objects, you would use "ce sont" to say "they are."


No, "elles" is used for any feminine plural noun, whether a living being or an object. It can refer to "femmes", "voitures" (cars), whatever, as long as it's grammatically feminine plural.

The reason this is "ce sont" and not "elles sont" is because "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

"il/elle est" + adjective stays "il/elle est" + adjective.

These articles go into more detail and are worth a read.

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


Or "these are."

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