1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Ce sont des minutes difficil…

"Ce sont des minutes difficiles."

Translation:These are difficult minutes.

March 25, 2013



Would this have the same meaning as "These are difficult times", referring to an ongoing, widely-experienced situation, or is this a weird sentence that only literally means "These are difficult minutes"?


I entered "These are difficult times" and it was accepted as correct


They also accepted, "These are hard times". So I have to assume it's not only applying to literal time. Though who knows ? I may be wrong :)


Maybe it can be understood as "These are difficult times" but we would definitely say "Ce sont des temps difficiles" as a version of it. I have never experienced somebody saying "Ce sont des minutes difficiles" and it does sound to me like she's literally talking about minutes... (as a native)


It reminded me of exercise or tests, where the last minutes are the hardest.


Rickjmill, me too. I used to instruct commercial and police drivers. It was a two-hour test and if they failed it would be to do with a mistake made right at the end of the test when they were so tired. If they passed, they were off to their first shift of work lasting up to thirteen hours! Again, "The Last Minutes", 99% of all Bumps they made were in the garage parking lot, parking up in the last minutes of their shift!


Isn't the sentence 'Ces sont des minutes difficiles' more logic? Because of the plural?


I think "ces," being a demonstrative adjective, can never be used without a noun it describes; "ces enfants" but never "*ces aiment." However, I think "ce," although also sometimes a demonstrative adjective, can also function as a (neuter?) pronoun that can be both singular and plural, kind of like "The fish is good" and "The fish are good" in English; it's simply one word with multiple meanings.

And with regards to languages being logical, I feel they are exceptionally well-designed considering they largely evolved naturally and thus don't even have designers; despite this, languages have patterns everywhere! Just my two-cents ;)


Perhaps but languages aren't based on logic.


Someone should make a Lojban course for Duolingo. haha


Yes. Good answer ;)


these minutes are difficult


Cried the secretary during the West Cornish farmers association meeting.


Ha ha ha ha! Love it.


Difficult minutes, hey? How about difficult seconds as well?


Why is there a need to have "des" is this sentence? Can somebody explain? :D


Because articles are like crack to the French...very moreish. You basically need to modify the noun either with a possessive or an article. In this instance des=some.


It should be as " ces sont... "Ryt?


Hi Akshay. I've been waiting for a grammarian to explain this in terms that a dummy like myself may understand and maybe give some other sites pertinent to your query. All I've located is a post from our dear Sitesurf: No, not right. From the very precious Sitesurf I found this. It is high-brow grammar and I struggle with it but here is our answer: "Ce" has no plural. It is a pronoun. "Ces" is a demonstrative adjective to agree with the noun it modifies. We will need to seriously brush up on our grammar, both English and especially French and that one is a whole term's work, at least it is for me. Sorry it took so long to respond but I just didn't know the answer which bothered me because I've done all this (again!)s but forgotten it!. Look, this is all so "deep" grammar and I've bought myself "French grammar for Dummies" and "Gwynne's Grammar" (for English) in my attempt to bring my grasp of grammar up to purpose. Bonne chance mon ami! JJ.


proper explanation... keep up the good work


I entered 'They are difficult times' and was marked as incorrect.


"Ce sont" means "these are," but I don't think "they are" is an accepted translation.


Someone asked why "they" cannot be used in the exercise

  • "These are not words." = "Ce ne sont pas des mots."

Sitesurf responded that: "this/that/these/those" have to be translated with a demonstrative adjective or pronoun.

"C'est" and "Il est" are impersonal expressions used to describe and introduce people and things. There are rules when each is used:

"C'est" changes to "ce sont" when followed by a plural noun. "Ce" does not change to "ces" (not: ces sont). You use "ces" only when it is followed by a plural noun.


'They' does come up as a translation


OK, well perhaps Duolingo only acknowledges "they" as a pronoun for people and not for abstract things like time.


Yes it is probably not the best English


You can certainly use "they" as a pronoun for inanimate objects in English. I don't know why "They are difficult minutes" is not correct (though admittedly it's even more unusual than the already quite unusual "These are difficult minutes").


I said "these minutes are difficult" and DL makes it wrong WTH?


'These minutes are difficult' and 'These are difficult minutes' are quite different sentences. In the first, 'these minutes' is the subject of the sentence, which it isn't in the other.


I think 'it's difficult time' should be acceptable.


That is not correct English. "It's a difficult time" is the closest correct English phrase I can think of to that, whether or not one thinks it should be accepted as an answer here.


i put in these minuets are difficult, is that technically not the same thing???


@EyeofDeath13 (spooky). No, Minuets are music pieces. Though they may be difficult they are not the same as difficult minutes/moments.


Why ce not ces isn't it plural?


Go above to Z. Shan's post for the answer and links to full tutorials. Always scan the thread before you post, you are very unlikely to be the first with your query.


I did rough not tough. Should that count?


this seems awkward, would not be said in English

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