"Ce qui importe, ce sont mes enfants."

Translation:What matters is my children.

February 21, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I translated this as "Those who are important, they are my children", is this not acceptable also?


I think the literal translation would be

They who matter (to me), they are my children

I believe ces is those but im honestly not sure (someone correct me if Im wrong)


I think it's like saying "aujourd'hui, c'est lundi" which translates to "today is Monday". Now it's just in the plural form.


Why is "ce sont" used and not "ces sont"? To me the French is saying "this is what mattters, these are my children" meaning something is important because it could affect the children. "What matters is my children" isn't the same thing.


"Ces sont" does not exist. To my knowledge "Ce" can be used for both singulars and plurals. Though you can use "ces" with "sont" if you mention the object which "ces" refers to afterwards; for example: Ces hommes sont grands.


Ce sont is used to refer to plural things, meanwhile C'est (combining Ce and est) is used for singular.


Yet German does this too. "Das/Es sind..." is the equivalent of "ce sont"


can anybody explain the meaning of the translation and where it can be used, please


Example usage:

"Even though the house burnt down and we lost everything inside, none of that really matters. What matters is my children. And luckily they were able to get out of the house before the fire really took hold."


I think it is better to say "my children are the ones who matter", but this is not accepted.


"What matters are my children. What matters is my children." How can be correct both 'are' and 'is' ?


"What" is both plural and singular, so you can say "What is that?" or "What are those?" for example. In this case, it is like saying "The thing which matters is my children" or "Those who matter are my children", if you see what I mean.


Valid point about "what", but by that logic the sentence would have to read: "What matter are my children." --which of course just doesn't work.


The literal translation appears to be "That which matters, these are my children." Shouldn't it be "Ce qui importe, c'est mes enfants."? What matters IS my children (not ARE my children).


"What matters are my children" shouldn't be correct. Perhaps speakers of some dialects might say that, but it deviates from general English grammar functions, and from "proper" English in any country.


"Are" is an intransitive verb meaning that the sentence can be flipped and retain the same meaning (paraphrasing from my grammar school teachers, a lifetime ago.) So that one can say, "My children are what matter" which would be proper English, and is therefore correct in either format.


There is actually a subtle difference between "are" and "is". "Are" technically functions to designate that each child "is" what matters; "is" gathers the children into a single object which is that which matters.


"Are" and "is" are both part of the conjugation of the verb "to be."


But I think if you are using "are" then you should also be using "matter" instead of "matters". "What matter are my children".


Well now Hamster. "What matter are my children?" actually means "What do my children matter?" A very different sense to "What matters are my children" which is incorrect grammar anyway. The only correct grammar for this sentence is: "What matters IS my children". (This is well explained above by u__u.)


Shouldn't "qui" be who? I wrote "Who matters are my children" and got it wrong...


Thanks! Now I know "ce qui" and "qui" are completely different things, haha


excellent thanks


Duo says that "Those who matter are my children." is correct. I wrote "These" instead of "Those", but it is wrong. Why?


Why is "What matters is my girls" correct? I have never seen "enfants" used as "girls"


I think you're right. "mes enfants" is not "my boys" or "my girls"; it is only "my children", as it reveals nothing about the gender. "mes garcons" is my boys and "mes filles" is "my girls". It would be like translating "my children" from English to "mes filles" or "mes garcons" in French. It's silly.


I have the same confusion with "my boys". I don't understand why is that correct. I mean, "mes enfants" could be only girls and we don't have a way to know it. It could be only boys also, we don't have that information. I thought "enfants" were just kids, without a specific gender.


Enfants doesn't specify gender, so it can be either boys or girls or just children


I'm not clear on why "My children are what matter" doesn't work? It's grammatically correct in English and more likely to be used.


Agreed, that should be an answer. You can submit potential answers which they have missed, and should do so for the above phrase.


Ce qui importe, why not "Ce qu'importe"


qui never elides, simple as


I want to know too.


Yes, I don't get why it is not ce qu'importe.


Qui is never elided into qu' because then we would not be able to tell the difference between que and qui in front of a vowel sound.


I heard, "Ceux qui importent..." which I thought would be correct in the plural context of "mes enfants", but it wasn't accepted. Why might it be strictly, "Ce qui importe"?


I had the same question. Since the second half of the sentence is plural, you'd expect the first half to be too. So why not, "ceux qui importent, ce sont mes enfants"?


@JohnG3. It is because here, "What matters" = "The one thing which matters" and this is singular. Videlicet: the single thing that has importance here is the single group of my children. It is all singular. I await correction. Grammarians debate?


@Jackjon, merci! I see what you mean. Rather than think of it is a bunch of children, it's one group of children. Still, from a strictly grammatical perspective, it's "my children" not "my one group of children." I guess what I'm asking is, would it be incorrect en français to say "ceux qui importent, ce sont mes enfants"?


Of course you can say that, JohnG. That isn't what the lesson's task is though. Hey, your French is well good.


Touché, mon ami. But you give me way too much credit, il reste du pain sur la planche!


Where is an indirect object in this sentence? The verb "importer" has two meanings: "to import" (as in 'to import products from abroad') and "to matter" (to someone). Obviously, in this exercise the latter meaning is intended. But in that case, I would've thought that it has to be in the form of impersonal verb with direct and indirect objects, and the impersonal pronoun "il" as a subject, which is here implied (like in English - something matters to someone).

So, why we don't have here "Ce qui m'importe, ce sont mes enfants.", with indirect object pronoun "me" (since this is obviously the intended meaning of this sentence)?? Maybe in English it can be left out sometimes, when it is implicitly understood from context, but it was mentioned in earlier threads that it is necessary in French...


quite a confusing statement...


What does "Ce qui" mean?


Hi Liquid_Ninja. Depending on context it means either What or Which. Check out the link to About.com which codeandcoffeh posted above.


How did 'ce sont' become 'is'?


I answered: What matters is (that) they are my children. And it was considered wrong.

This statement has a slightly different meaning from the suggested translation "What matters is my children"

My question is: which of them are closer to the real meaning of the sentence in french? Maybe a native speaker could answer...


I think that would be something like "Ce qui importe, ils sont mes enfants."


I wrote "These who matter, they are my children." Why is "these" unacceptable yet "those" is ok?

Carl0s asked this question earlier, yet received no answer.


Why do they use sont instead of est?


Pertinent question which has been asked often here and still not answered. I proffer an explanation here yet stand to be corrected. In the English the "IS" refers to "What matters"=singular and English will translate with that in mind. In French the sentence ends with "Mes Enfants" and that cannot be preceded by "C'Est" so given the context, although "Ce Sont" is used "C'est" is the concept and so translates thus to English. Either that, or Duo's gone and got itself all Muxed Ip with this one. In English "What matters IS my children" is correct (if a tad picky). If "Are" is to be used in English the sentence must change to "Those who matter ARE my children" for example. I'd love it if some-one who has serious knowledge of grammar would contribute more effectively here though, as I'm sure it's all to do with object/subject with a subjunctive conditional hummerflunk thrown in here and there.


try to reconstruct this sentence without the first part of "ce qui importe";
you can't at say "c'est mes enfants" at all, that'll sound like someone saying "This is my children"
you have to make everything agree whether singular or plural and say "These are my children"; and hence, "ce sont mes enfants"

Also, the verb "importer" means "to import" in English
In order to mean "to matter", the sentence needs to be in passive tense.
I'm not sure if this sentence was in passive tense, as I haven't learnt it yet, but if it was, then the real subject here is "mes enfants" which requires the sentence to be in plural condition


Nice, YahyaZuhair. As of my post, I'm not certain whether we answer CoconutKitty's simple question. "How does Sont translate to English IS". Such an easy question but the answer not so easy. Well, we've tried and we do make sense. I hope we make sense to CoconutKitty.


"the important thing is that they are my children" should be accepted


No, that would be "La chose importante est que ce sont mes enfants." Totally different sentence with a totally different meaning. The sentence given says that "the important thing" is the children themselves, not the fact of them being the speaker's children, as your sentece suggests.


Couldn't it just be a statement to a third? "this is important, these are my children". meaning, hey, listen…these are my children. Can someone give me a rule ce…ce always refers to the same or anything?


I tried, "To whom it matters, these are my children". I had no idea how to correct it gave up. The supposedly correct solution was "They who matter they are my children." Say, what?? It wasn't until I came into the discussion that I saw the true meaning of the sentence.


you spend too much on them. What matters, they are my children. xx ?


This is very awkward


"they that matter they are my children" clunkiest english sentence ever


this is an awkward translation, surely


I get that this is something you have to accept as a different way of saying the same thing in English. My question is, if I were talking about things rather than people, would the "qui" change to a "que?


'ce qui' and 'ce que' have nothing to do with people or things.
those are called 'indefinite relative pronouns'.

  • 'ce qui' is used when speaking about the subject of the sentence.
  • 'ce que' is used when speaking about the object
    Check here for more details


"That what matters are my children". I'm sorry but this attempt at translation into some form of English is absurd.


There was no liaison for mes enfants.... Weird


What's wrong, "My kids are who matter"

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