1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Ce sont des gens."

"Ce sont des gens."

Translation:They are people.

February 27, 2013

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cristianomg10

Is there any difference between "peuple" and "gens"?

Thanks in advance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ozlaps

Only difference i can think is that peuple could be used as a singular to refer to the commonality (we the people) whereas gens appears to be strictly plural (these/those people etc). I would assume that in this instance they should be interchangeable but that's a rookies guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ExoticMatter

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2277591 (note to people reviewing: open link in a new tab)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seth3B

merci! and I love your note!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joosmang

Is this correct? Why isn't it "Ces sont des gens?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/patlaf

"Ces" is a demonstrative adjective. You can have "Ces <noun>" but you cannot have "Ces <verb>" since it's an adjective, not a pronoun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaudhryjunaid

more explanation please!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneNussbaum

I think it's necessary to think of 2 different uses of "ce":

1.) ce = "this" in the masc. sing. form (it's an adjective, used before a noun): ce livre, ce garçon, ce pays.

This one has different forms for plural, feminine, etc: cet homme, cet ami (special form before masc. noun that starts with a vowel) cette femme, cette ville ces amis, ces hommes, ces femmes, ces gens

2.) ce = "it," "that", a pronoun (think of it as neuter gender). It becomes c' before the verb "est": "C'est ..." (It is / This is...)

C'est l'homme qui m'a donné le livre. (It's the man who gave me the book.)

Ce sont les hommes qui m'ont donné le livre. (It's the men...)

Notice that the plural of "C'est" is "Ce sont."

We can say "It's the men who..." in (informal) English; or we can say "These are the men." Interestingly, though, the pronoun "ce" itself does not become plural in form (though it takes a plural verb).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hablocastillano

Thanks for the full explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NovemberQuinn

Basically, it's an exception, a quirk of the language. You never say "Ces sont", only "Ce sont".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleppanen

Nice clear answer. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SummerYLWong

No, not people. Aliens! ( queue X files theme song )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TechnoBlack

Oh great, this whole time I thought they were aliens


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uchual

Persons should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2067

"Persons" refers to multiple individuals (des personnes) whereas "people" refers to a group.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilverFlute

'Persons' is very infrequently used in modern English, except in a very formal situation. 'People' is the correct form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mbamford

why wouldn't this be okay? They are individuals


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahMorris2

How do i tell if ce means those these or they


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

The French speaker doesn't see three options, just one, so take your pick according to the context when translating to English. In this case the personal pronoun "they" probably fits best whereas "these" and "those" are not personal pronouns but could work in some contexts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BasslineJo

Folks should be accepted as well 17/9/2017


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simon534149

I don't get it, which word would be more polite? Peuple or gens?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Florine_2017

Why not: "It's people"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Florine_2017

Found it myself: "Note that ce is used with the verb être as follows: in its singular form, c'est, means it is /this is /that is, and in its plural form, ce sont, means they are /these are /those are." Ok-got it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalGlobus

Is the vowel on "gens" a bit weird? It seems the pronunciation is a bit strange.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.