"Ces sont" is not grammatically correct. You have to use "ce sont" when there is an article (des or les) or a possessive (mes/tes/ses, nos/vos/leurs) before the noun.
Our teacher taught us that ce is for singular masculine,
cet is for singular masculine ends with a vowel,
cette is for feminine singular,
and ces is for plural.
so why is 'ces sont" wrong?
Ce sont des garçons - accepted "they are boys". But when I wrote "they are apples" for "ce sont des pommes", it gave me incorrect saying "these are apples". Either is correct in English, so why is "ce sont" acceptable for "they are" for boys, but only "these are" for apples?
"they are" only apply for people or pets. For objects (like "apples"), you have to use "these/those are".
You most certainly can use "they" for inanimate objects.
Incidentally, I just put "they are apples" and it was accepted for this exercise (March 19, 2015).
It seems to me it would be a perfectly good response to:
"What on earth are those things on the table?"
"They are apples."
Here's Cambridge's first definition of the word "they"
used as the subject of a verb to refer to people, animals, or things already mentioned or, more generally, to a group of people not clearly described:
I've known the Browns for a long time. They're very pleasant people.
Where are my glasses? They were on the table just now.
They (= people who know) say things will be better in the new year.
Hi Wait des means some right and yet I got it wrong for writing some.
You ask an interesting question. Actually "des" doesn't really mean "some". However in some cases we have the option of adding "some" if we like (as long as it doesn't change the meaning of the sentence).
So "Je mange des pommes" means "I am eating apples". If we like we can add "some" and so it becomes "I am eating some apples"
It makes no difference to the meaning of the sentence. In fact "some" is added so often in this type of situation that many learners think that "des" = "some" and many teachers tell learners it means "some" just to simplify the explanation. In this type of sentence Duo always accepts both options (with or without "some").
The sentence in this particular exercise is different.
"Ce sont des pommes" means "these are apples".
OK, so far the same as my previous example but can we add "some" without changing the meaning of the sentence in this case.
No we can't because "These are some apples" has a different meaning. It means "these are very nice apples" or "these are great apples". The meaning isn't specific but it means that there is something particular about these apples.
That is why Duo marked you wrong for adding "some". ;)
By saying "these are some apples" can also have a different meaning to what you discribe, eg. "these are some apples...for you of the tree" perhaps.
Your suggestion assumes the phrase was not a complete sentence. The period/full stop proves it was so your suggestion does not work.
I mean I sort of get your reasoning here but I disagree. "These are some apples" doesn't mean amything different to me than "these are apples" and the "some" only means "extraordinary" with a particular inflection that isn't indicated here at all.
Writing "some" in the English sentence sounds odd and somewhat redundant. You don't have to include every single word when translating even when it is not idiomatic in the target language.
Because 'Ces' is always followed by a plural noun, in this case 'Ce' was followed by a verb (être) so we use 'Ce' regardless of what comes after the verb.
The true distinction is the parts of speech the words represent.
In this example, ce is a demonstrative pronoun. It stands alone. If followed by est, it means "this/that"; if followed by sont, it means "these/those".
Ces is a adjective. It modifies a noun and comes right before a noun. Any time you see it, you should expect a noun right after it, and it always means "these/those".
Note that there is also the singular ce(t) masculine form of cette which is a demonstrative adjective like ces.
So ce can be both a pronoun and adjective. It just depends on how it is used in a sentence.
No, the word some is redundant and it makes no sense to use it like that.
Sure it does. "These are some apples from our tree I'd like you to have."
"These are some apples." as a full sentence sounds dumb to me. As opposed to what? All apples in the world?
"Here are some apples from our tree that I would like you to have" does not sound as odd though.
Anyone could easily bring some apples from their tree to their neighbor and say "These are some apples, Mary, [from our tree that I'd like you to have if you can use them.]" You then hand her the bag into which she has not yet looked. Language is pretty flexible, rarely dumb.
Why are you adding words that are not in this exercise? You suggested: "These are some apples." The use of some in that sentence is redundant because if you are pointing at apples, it is a given they are some of all the apples there are in the world. The only time I can think of someone using the word some in a sentence like that is if they are emphasizing that there is something special about the apples. In which case, it would still be a wrong translation of the given sentence. The French sentence translates to "these/they/those are apples" nothing more, nothing less.
Now granted, people can say redundant things and that could be a correct translation but IMO only if the given sentence were ce sont quelques pommes.
Still havent heard a good answer why "some apples" (des pommes) isnt correct. Sure, it may sound redundant in english but its still a common phrase and its the literal translation.
How about just accepting that that is not the translation for the French sentence given. This is just a case of French must use an article while English does not. If they wanted you to write "some apples", they would have said quelques pommes.
Sing songs of joy= Chantez les chansons de joie
Notice an article is needed in the French. Not so, the English.
Boys will be boys = les garçons restent des garçons
We're all learning here, so dont get your panties in a bunch. Thanks for the help.
No one's panties are in a bunch at all. Just trying to save you the headache of looking for a better explanation when I don't believe there is one.
Here's a different perspective, Philip. "Des" is used here as a plural of "un/une". There is no equivalent in English for such a word, although occasionally one may use the word "some". Do not construe this to mean that "des" means "some". When it is used in this sense, the "some" in English may fit grammatically, but it is almost always omitted. One way to remember it is to ask yourself, what is the plural of "a"? When you say "literal" translation, I presume that you mean you feel the need to take each word in French and find a counterpart in English to represent it. And that is where it breaks down here because in English, there is no answer.
Because the correct English translation of the French sentence does not include the word "some". The French use articles where the English don't. Du vin is simply "wine"; de la bière is "beer" not "some beer".
Why can I not write 'some' apples. It is still grammatically and contextually correct is it not?
Because "these are some apples" does not mean the same thing as "these are apples". The former implies there is something special about the apples. The French sentence is nothing more than just identifying apples. You have to learn that while French uses articles before nouns, English does not.
L'amour est belle = love is beautiful
Les garçons restent des garçons = boys will be boys
Du vin = wine
J'aime les fruits = I like fruits
Cette is an adjective like "big" and comes immediately before a noun, so cannot stand alone like ce which is a pronoun like "they".
Cette pomme = this/that apple
ce sont des pommes = they/these are apples