Ce sont or Ces sont (Tip 3)
Here I go again!
Hope this can help somebody else because at the beginning I was very confused about the word Ce/Ces. Often, I answered wrong some question about Ce in plural sentences. So, lets start!
First of all, we have to understand that Ce could be a demonstrative adjective or a indefinite demonstrative pronoun:<h1>Demonstrative Adjective</h1>
It always comes before a noun and agree with gender and number with the noun its modify:
Ce: masculine singular (this/that)
* Ce garçon est petit
Cet: masculine singular before vowel or mute H (this/that)
* Cet homme est grand
Cette: feminine singular (this/that)
* Cette fille est jolie
Ces: masculine/feminine plural (these/that)
Ces hommes sont grands
Ces femmes sont belles
It refers to a noun previosly mentioned, it is impersonal and unvariable. Does not change acordding with gender ou number. Mainly used with the verb être and means it or this.
- C'est la vie
- C'est important
Now answering the title question, the correct form is: Ce sont les garçons
- in this case ce is used to refer something/someone mentioned before, and we can also realize that it is not followed by a noun. It would be WRONG to say Ces sont ... because the PRONOUN Ce is UNVARIABLE.
But we could say something like this: Ces garçons sont petits
- in this case Ces is an ADJECTIVE and it is modified by the noun garçons, so it agrees in gender and number with it.
Thats it! Hope this was clear enough!
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I've added it to this discussion with references to French grammar tips. Thank you!
You have to leave an empty line between the bullet list and the last line before it.
Thank you sooo much! I was really confused and to me it didn't make sense why Duolingo would mark it as wrong when i used "ces sont" :D Now I understand :D
Thank you so much for making that clear for me. I've had so much trouble with Ce and Ces till today.
if the sentence is these are the lemons that THEY had used -- is it still ce sont ?
Ce sont les citrons qu'ils ont utilisés. So yes, always ce sont. As xaponeis sais, ce is an invariable pronoun, meaning it never agrees with anything, it doesn't change (when used this way).
Never. You can have ces amis sont... Because here ces isn't pronoun, but demonstrative adjective. But ces sont by itself just isn't grammatically correct.
Very good post, and it cleared up some things for me. One very minor correction. You said "Ces is an ADJECTIVE and it is modified by the noun garçons" but it should say "Ces is an ADJECTIVE and it modifies the noun garçons". But that's minor and it wasn't the point of the post, which was very helpful. Thank you!
So, just to be sure.... There doesn't exist a plural form of the indefinite demonstrative pronoun "ce"?
No, by its definition, "ce" is indefinite. It is treated as singular for grammatical purposes, but making it plural would make no sense at all.
Thank you! I was just doing an exercise in Rosetta Stone and was completely confused! This totally cleared it up for me. :)
Great explanation. I suspect this is something that needs to be practised ad infinitum before it becomes facile.
I know this is a post from 3 years ago, but it cleared up a lot for me. Thanks!
What are all the definitions of Ce as Indefinite Demonstrative Pronoun? This That These They? Is "those" also an option? You said "Mainly used with the verb être and means it or this". but Ce sont les garçons = These are the boys Ce sont des garçons.= They are boys. DL word definitions (ce Pronoun)