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  5. "These are dresses."

"These are dresses."

Translation:Ce sont des robes.

February 19, 2013



really wish there is a section dedicated to the differences of "il y a" "ce sont" "ces sont" "c'est". I keep looking online to find out the differences, but i always forget.


I can only say c'est means it is... I think il y a means there is, the other two I am still trying to figure out


it's a different meaning too... c'est/ce sont/ce sont (depending on the amount) means it/they are something or someway, while il y a means it/they is/are somewhere. Hope this helps and if someone can reassure me of this I'd appreciate it.


What you said for the c'est and ce sont is correct, but "Il y a" is more like "There is/ are" not "it/they is/are" Here is a good page to look at for it: http://www.wordreference.com/fren/il%20y%20a


maybe this link could help with ce/ces! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2419410 (obs not mine)


If you doulingo online the website on a laptop, there is an explaination before all lessons


Why "Ces sont des robes" is incorrect?


the subject of "sont" can be a noun or a pronoun, not an adjective: "ce (pronoun) sont des robes"

"ces" is an adjective, to be placed in front of a noun.: "ces robes sont belles"


Merci, merci, merci!


Sorry, but I don't understand how "ces" is an adjective? Aren't adjectives just descriptions of things? We learned in school that "ces" is the demonstrative pronoun for plural. Could someone explain this please?


The French demonstrative pronouns are:

  • ce - only with the verb être: c'est, ce sont
  • ceci = this thing
  • cela/ça = that thing
  • celui, celle, ceux, celles = the one/the ones - to be used before "de" or "que"
  • celui-ci, celle-ci, ceux-ci, celles-ci = this one/these (ones)
  • celui-là, celle-là, ceux-là, celles-là = that one/those (ones)

A pronoun is used instead of a noun.

An adjective is used to qualify/determine/define a noun. There are all kinds of adjectives, including possessive adjectives (mon, ma, mes, etc.), indefinite adjectives (quelques, certains, etc.), numeral adjectives (premier, deuxième, etc.).


So Sitesurf, could you say, "Celles-ci sont des robes?"


Wait I found a good explanation on another question! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2419410


But, ça sont des robes isn't true, is it? So, I guess we should use ce with être and ça with other verbs, am I right?


"ceci/cela/ça" are masculine singular by default.

you cannot use ça as the subject of verb "être"

  • ceci/cela est correct
  • ça, c'est bien (you have to repeat "ça" as c')
  • ceci/cela/ça fait du bien (or other verbs)

only "ce" can be followed by "sont"

  • c'est une robe
  • ce sont des robes


Thanks a lot! What's cela (ceci)? Is it a synonym for ça?


"ceci" means "this thing"

"cela" means "that thing"

"ça" is the shortened, in-speech version of "cela"


Why not "Ce sont robes"? Doesn't that make sense?


In French it is very rare that a noun appears without a determiner of some kind (article, possessive or demonstrative adjective, etc).

Now, to understand the French logic, pls look at the singular: "c'est UNE robe". Very simply, the plural form of UNE is DES, so "ce sont DES robes".


Awesome. Makes total sense. The indefinite article un/une has a plural form, "des". Thanks so much.


then how do you know if I should put "des" or not?


Put it in singular. If you need "a/an", the French will be "un/une", and in plural again "des".


Also if you recall from earlier sessions.... robes would mean all the robes in the world.... therefore we have to specify that these are some dresses.... That's how I remember it..... hope it helps


Merci beaucop, bon homme !


Why is it "ce" instead of "celles" or "cette"?


Is it okay to say Ce sont LES robes? If not, why not? Thank you!



  • c'est une robe = it/this is a dress

  • c'est la robe = it/this is the dress


  • ce sont des robes = they/these are dresses (plural of English a/an does not exist

  • ce sont les robes = they/these are the dresses.


pourquoi pas: "ceci sont des robes"

Correct solution: "Ce sont des robes."

Cela devrais marcher dans mon opinion


"ceci" is singular (= this or that).

so you could say "ceci est une robe" (ceci means "this thing here")

with a plural, you need to use either "ce sont des robes" or "celles-ci sont des robes" (these are dresses) or "celles-là sont des robes" (those are dresses).

note: "cela devraiT marcher à mon avis" ("in my opinion" does not translate directly)


I entered "Celles-ci sont des robes." and was marked wrong.


Can someone explain the difference between 'ce sont' and 'ils/elles sont' when do we know to use which???


"il/elle est" needs to change to "c'est" and '"ils/elles sont" to "ce sont" before a modified noun.

Noun modifiers are articles, possessives and demonstratives, numbers, indefinite adjectives etc.

  • he is a man = c'est un homme (not il est un homme)
  • they are women = ce sont des femmes (not elles sont des femmes).

If "il/elle est" or "ils/elles sont" are placed before an adjective, you keep the pronouns:

  • he is nice = il est gentil
  • they are friendly = ils sont amicaux/elles sont amicales

"C'est" followed by an adjective describes a situation or an indefinite thing:

  • it's nice of you = c'est gentil à vous
  • it/this is blue = c'est bleu


put it in singular: this is a dress = c'est une robe back to plural, a/an has no plural form but un/une has a plural form, which is "des"


That helps a lot Sitesurf.


Why is it "ce" and not "ces"? I read above that someone said that "ce" is an adjective but that doesn't make sense to me, because an adjective is a describing word and words like "this" and "that", aren't they articles?


"ce" is a singular pronoun in "c'est" or "ce sont".

this and that can be pronouns or adjectives (modifying nouns), both demonstrative:

  • look at this/that! = regarde ceci/cela/ça ! - pronoun, singular
  • look at these/those! = regarde ceux-ci/celles-ci // ceux-là/celles-là ! - pronoun, plural
  • look at this one/that one! = regarde celui-ci/celle-ci // celui-là/celle-là - adjective in English (modifying "one"); pronoun in French
  • look at this/that dog! = regarde ce chien ! (+ ce chien-ci/ce chien-là) - adjective, masculine singular
  • look at this/that tree! = regarde cet arbre ! (+ cet arbre-ci/cet arbre-là) - adjective, masculine singular in front of a noun starting with a vowel sound
  • look at this/that girl! = regarde cette fille (+cette fille-ci/cette fille-là) - adjective, feminine singular
  • look at these/these children! = regarde ces enfants (+ ces enfants-ci/ces enfants-là)- adjective, plural


Why not "il y a des robes"?


Just one letter is different:

il y a des robes = there are dresses


Why "Ces sont des robes" is wrong?


"ce sont" is fixed, where "ce", pronoun, remains invariable.

"ces" is exclusively an adjective, plural of "ce, cet or cette" in front of a noun.


Why not "voila, des robes" as another option? Also, in general, it would be nice to see the Québecois variations on DuoLingo.


I have the same question. It might be because it's "these are dresses" instead of "there are dresses".


I understand that these is ces as the verb and the noun are in the plural. Ce is the singular of this. Any comment?


"these" is "ces" when followed by a noun, because "ces" is an adjective.

  • ce chien, cet homme, cette robe, ces robes

"These are..." uses "these" as a pronoun (instead of a noun, like "these things"), which is the subject of the verb "are".

To translate it, you need a demonstrative pronoun.

  • this is = c'est
  • that is = c'est
  • these are = ce sont
  • those are = ce sont


We need articles for differentiation between all of these possessives. Whenever I check the meaning, the meaning matches with many other words.


why is "ce sont les robes" incorrect?


Look at the singular version:

  • c'est une robe = it/this is a dress

Now the plural:

  • ce sont des robes = they/these are dresses

"des" is the plural indefinite article that English does not have. It means "more than one" and it is required as the plural of "un" or "une" (a/an).

"Ce sont les robes" = these/they are the dresses (specific), as the plural of "c'est la robe = it/this is the dress (specific).


im really not understanding why it isnt "il y a"


"Il y a" = There is/are


what's the difference between "des" and "les"? S'il vous plaît!


"Les" is the plural of "le/la". Definite articles are both specific and general:

  • je vois le chien, la tortue et les canards = I see the dog, the turtle and the ducks.
  • j'aime le chocolat, la biologie et les enfants = I like chocolate, biology and children.

"Des" is the plural of "un/une".

  • j'ai un chien et une tortue = I have a dog and a turtle.
  • j'ai des animaux = I have animals.


How can 'these are' be answered with 'Ce sont'' " they have" ?


"They have" = Ils/Elles ont

"Ce sont" = They are


Then when would you use Ces?


As in These are these dresses - Ce sont ces robes.


When do you use Ce and Ces? I get them confused


There are two classes of demonstratives: pronouns and adjectives.

As you can expect, pronouns can be used instead of nouns and the subject of the verb. "Ce" is the invariable pronoun you use with the verb "être":

  • c'est une robe = singular verb and noun
  • ce sont des robes = plural verb and noun

The demonstrative adjectives are used before nouns and agree with these nouns:

  • ce chien = masculine singular
  • cet homme = before a masculine singular word starting with a vowel sound
  • cette robe = feminine singular
  • ces chiens/hommes/robes = all plural nouns


Why do you need to say des before the noun


Because "un" and "une" have a plural form: "des", unlike English, where "a/an" does not have a plural form.


I keep looking for more


You can access all our Tips&Notes from here: https://www.duome.eu/tips/en/zz

At the top of the page, click on the "Table of contents" and look for the chapter titled "C'est/Ce sont".

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