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  5. "Ce sont des chats."

"Ce sont des chats."

Translation:These are cats.

February 28, 2013

40 Comments


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

I asked this question for another one, but why not "Ces sont"?


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

I'm not sure exactly why but it's always 'ce sont'. Just a peculiarity of the language I guess!


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

yes, you're right, "ce" remains singular (neutral in fact)


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

I'm still not sure about this - why use Ce instead of Ils/Elles ?


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

Please copy-paste what follows somewhere near you:

In French, "c'est" (sing.) and "ce sont" (plural) are used every time pronoun it, she, he or they is subject of verb "être" and followed by a nominal group, ie: modifier (1) + noun (+ adjective)

o it is + (modifier +) noun => c'est + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

o she is + (modifier +) noun => c'est + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

o he is + (modifier +) noun => c'est c'est + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

o they are + (modifier +) noun => ce sont + modifier + noun (+ adjective)

(1)NOTE: French nouns are always used with "modifiers": articles, definite or indefinite (le/la/les, un/une/des) or possessive adjectives (mon/ma/mes, etc) or demonstrative adjectives (ce/cette/ces) or numeral (deux, trois...).

(2)NOTE: the above rule has no exception with indefinite article un/une/des, but a few exceptions with other modifiers:

  • he is THE chief = IL est LE chef (single statute) + c'est LE chef
  • she is HIS second wife = ELLE est SA seconde épouse (single statute) + c'est SA seconde épouse

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

So you're saying "He is a boy" should be written as "C'est un garçon" and should not be written as "Il est un garçon"?


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

yes, exactly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicola526448

I was trying to see what the phrase 'She is an attractive woman' would translate to as it has both an article and an adjective and i started putting sentences into Google translate. It keeps telling me that 'She is a woman' and similar is 'Elle est' when the rules from Duo's notes page say that it should be 'C'est'.

Is Google translate wrong and if so how badly? In English a lot of things which are grammatically incorrect are used in everyday language because many native speakers don't even know it's wrong. For instance saying '(Happy) New Years'. Is this similar perhaps - although incorrect it's so pervasive that it's being put into the translator as the right way to say it?


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

she is an attractive woman = c'est une femme attrayante.

I can tell you that nobody would say "elle est une femme attrayante" unless they seek a stylistic effect (journalists could, for they like to reinvent the wheel).


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

You could use the whole saltshaker! ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicola526448

Fair enough. Google translate is just wrong :-) I'm not too surprised - I've always taken what it says with the proverbial grain of salt.

Thank you for clarifying.


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

Thanks for clarifying this. There is probably no way I would have gotten that from this site without your explanation. Then again, the site provides this discussion spot. :)

I love Duolingo.


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

Why is it ELLE est SA seconde épouse but not elle est SON seconde épouse?


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

Because possessive adjective agree with the possession, not with the owner:

"épouse" is feminine singulier so: sa seconde épouse

"son épouse" is used as a replacement for sa-épouse which generates a vowel conflict between a-é.

"seconde" starting with a consonant, you do not need a change in the possessive adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanLin211380

So "elle" and "il" are essentially useless since all nouns have modifiers? So they should never be used? Then why did we have to learn them in the first place?


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

What is explained here is an exception.

When "il/elle est" or "ils/elles sont" are followed by adverbs or adjectives they remain untouched.

And the pronouns are also used with thousands of verbs.

As a rule, "il, elle, ils and elles" are as useful in French as "he, she, it, and they" are in English.


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

I'm curious here: what would it then mean if someone said "C'est sa seconde exposée." Could one use it in some context? Is there exceptions for ce sont too?

Also if I may, may I ask for a link to the rule for c'est and elle/il?

Thank you beforehand :)


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

I'm not sure I understand your question but do you mean "exposé" as a report or talk? If so, it is masculine: "c'est son second exposé."


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

I am confused...I wrote These are some cats, which is grammatically correct. Why was I marked as incorrect?


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

how do you indicate the difference between "those" and "these" on this exercise? Thank you


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

these are cats = ceux-ci sont des chats

those are cats = ceux-là sont des chats


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamburglar4

Then why is it 'ce' in this question and not 'ceux-ci'? Is the answer supposed to be 'they are cats'? I put "these are' and it accepted it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

for "ce" , both "these" and "those" will be accepted, as well as "they". This is a broader term and "c'est" is actually ce + est with the elision taking out the 'e' of "ce" and rep[acing it with an apostrophe, so "ce" also means "this", "that" and "it". Now, if you want to indicate the difference between "these" and "those", for example if you had them in the same sentence, then you could use "ceux-ci" and "ceux-là". The French use "ce" more often than the more specific versions. http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500c.htm http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/ce http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns_demonstrative.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/g/demonstrativeadjective.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefiniterelativepronouns.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eldridge81

Why did it not show the "Another translation"? I did " These are SOME cats". :-D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karoline876644

In duolingo website, you have all theory for each lesson. It's very usefull. You just need to access with your login and password as you do in the app. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Verbs%3A-%C3%8Atre-_-Avoir


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blu200920

Doesn't 'des' mean 'some'? Why did I get that wrong?


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

"des" means "more than one" and it is required.

Sometimes, you can find "some XX" translating "des XX" but usually "cats" is the plural of "a cat", and "some" is optional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RT9Eh1

If 'some' is optional then it should be acepted if included.

Is there any construct in Frenxh which would make 'some' in the translation obligatory?


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

Yes, like this:

  • Certains l'aiment chaud = some like it hot.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ashmita79173

Duilingo best guide of french language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moxie12

I put "They are cats" and it was wrong. Is it just more proper to say "These are cats"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lfestie3

How do you know if it's "these" or "this"?


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

"sont" and "des" are in plural, so there are several cats here: these/those/they are cats


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jura653848

Why its "They are" not "there are"? EN translation here gives "there" as an option


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

There are cats = Il y a des chats

they/these/those are cats = ce sont des chats


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

«Ce sont des chats»? Pourquoi pas «Il y a des chats» ou «il y a chats»?


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

il y a = there is/are

"il y a chats" is incorrect, because the plural of "un chat" is "des chats".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felipe76598

Why isnt "they are the cats" accepted?


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

The sentence in English is the plural of "it is a cat" = "c'est un chat"

The sentence in French is "ce sont des chats" because "des" is the plural of "un".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mags671097

How would you say those are cats, is it the same?

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