"They are girls."
Translation:Ce sont des filles.
Because there is a rule for that.
That explanation seems to indicate both "Ce sont filles." and "Elles sont filles." should work for "They are girls." Look at their "He's a lawyer." example.
"fille" is not a profession.
the plural of "une fille" is "des filles".
- she is a girl - they are girls
- c'est une fille - ce sont des filles.
I may be dense here and if so I apologize. How does someone tell if it's modified or unmodified?
You can't see it since the English "they are girls" does not have a modifier.
But in French, "girls" is "des filles", ie the plural of "une fille".
- she is a girl = c'est une fille (modifier: a / une)
- they are girls = ce sont des filles (modifier --/des)
I said Elles Sont des filles. What's wrong with that? Can somebody explain in dumb downed language?
English does have a modifier. It should ask to translate: These/those are some girls and so it would correctly translate as: Ce sont des filles. I would suggest the question be amended to avoid confusion.
The point is not to back translate "ce sont des filles" with a determiner before "girls"'. The point is that French does not use the "il/elle/ils/elles" personal pronouns when the verb "être" is followed by a determiner and a noun.
However, "these/those are some girls" has another set of translations to French:
- these are (some) girls = celles-ci sont des filles / ce sont certaines filles
- those are (some) girls = celles-là sont des filles / ce sont certaines filles.
And in singular:
- she is a girl = c'est une fille
- this one is a girl = celle-ci est une fille
"il est" and "elle est" change go "c'est" when they are followed by a determiner and a noun.
- she is a girl = c'est une fille: the determiner is "une".
"ils sont" and "elles sont" change to "ce sont" when they are followed by a determiner and a noun.
- they are girls = ce sont des filles: the determiner is "des".
- they are boys = ce sont des garçons: the determiner is "des".
It's still not totally clear. Why can't one say THEY (elles) are girls (i.e. not boys) instead of THESE (ce) are girls (i.e not the others)?
"they are girls" and "these/those are girls" translate to "ce sont des filles" and vice-versa.
This is a side effect of the change from "elles sont + modified noun" to "ce sont + modified noun".
"il/elle est" + modified noun has to change to "c'est" + modified noun
"ils/elles sont" + modified noun has to change to "ce sont" + modified noun
"des filles" is a modified noun.
This is very unlikely that "ils" (all males) can be girls.
Also, whenever "ils sont" or "elles sont" is followed by a modified noun (determiner + noun), you have to change to "ce sont";
- they are girls = ce sont des filles
- they are boys = ce sont des garçons
"Ce" is an indefinite demonstrative pronoun, not to be confused with the demonstrative adjective ce (masc. sing., in front of a word starting with a consonant sound). It does not have a plural form.
"C'est" and "Ce sont" are fixed.