"They are heroes."

Translation:Ce sont des héros.

April 10, 2013

49 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Bredouille

Why not "Ils sont des héros?"?

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

This is a rule you will have to apply VERY often on Duolingo.

In French, "c'est" (sing.) and "ce sont" (plural) are used in a large variety of expressions, when a pronoun (it, she, he, they) is subject of verb "être" and followed by a nominal group, ie: article (+ determiner/adjective) + noun.

o it is (+ determiner) + noun = c'est + article + noun

o she is (+ determiner) + noun = c'est + article + noun

o he is (+ determiner) + noun = c'est + article + noun

o they are + noun = ce sont + article + noun

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/croaklearner

I always forget this.

October 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Cheyne

I typically don't have much trouble with "ce" vs. "il" forms but translating from "they" throws me off. I think it's because the "ce" forms usually convert better into this/that/those while "ils/elles" almost always converts well to "they."

June 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/djbrubacher

me too - without context though it's impossible to tell "c'est + ..." means.

December 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alexisbutti

Always, always, always.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SkrentyzMienty

What about questions? Surely "Sont-ils des héros?" will be permissible here?

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Yes, by exception, because "sont-ce" does not sound good.

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

Une petite note d'anglais, si cela ne vous ennuie pas :

Sounds, tastes, feelings, etc. are "good" rather than "well." If I'm not mistaken, it's the same in French.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/josh1209

It's a personal preference whether "good" or "well" is used. "Well" sounds more proper, but both are commonly used interchangeably in colloquial speech. However, sometimes there are phrases where one or the other just doesn't sound right.

January 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ahulani

Small small correction, Sitesurf. A very common mistake in English. Should be "sound good" not "sound well" because "sound" is a verb relating to the senses and reflects back to the subject. Therefore an adjective is used in this case "good". It is clearer in the distinction in meaning between "I feel good." and "I feel well." People, native and non-native, often misuse "well" here. And say "I feel well." when they really mean to say they feel good. To "feel well" means that one's capacity to feel is functioning just fine. I'm doing well and I feel good. We might think too, that "It' does not sound good" doesn't sound good, so we stick a "well" in there instead, thinking it sounds better. But as you can see, we don't say, "It sounds 'weller'".

In our sentence above, things are complicated by complex meanings of the verb "to sound" http://learnersdictionary.com/definition/sound

All of this is offered in a spirit of great gratitude to you for your clear and generous help to all of us learning French. It is only because I know you care about these subtleties of language that I offer this information. And not just to non-native English speakers, either. :D

October 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

I am grateful for your time and care, Ahulani. As you can tell, after learning and using English for countless years, I can still indulge in (stupid) direct translations.

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sebvaillancourt

although what you say is true, there is no reason Duolingo should refuse us to write it this way (ils sont des héros). where I come from (Québec) we say the singular "c'est un héro" and the plurar "ils sont des héros". it's just a matter of usage, but semantically speaking, it's exactly the same

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LorneColt

Thank you for this clarification

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/becky3086

What is an article?

November 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Definite articles: le, la, l', les (= the)

Indefinite articles: un, une (= a/an), des (= some or nothing)

Partitive articles: du (de+le), de la, de l' (= some + mass noun)

Contracted articles: du (de+le), des (de+les), au (à+le), aux (à+les) (= preposition + the)

Please take a look at this: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4614759

November 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/becky3086

Merci!

November 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vamagman

But there is no article in "they are heroes." So why does this rule apply?

October 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

There is no article in English, but there is one in French:

  • singular: un héros
  • plural: des héros
October 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

Good rule to be made are of - thanks

December 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Msr_Triste64

Pourquoi pas ils sont héros ?

May 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Because "héros" is not a profession.

May 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikRed1

Depends on the context? Why can't someone be a professional hero?

And what of referring to a profession as being a professional heroes? It's not uncommon to refer to fire fighters as professional heros, in that it is their job to be heroes.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The noun "héros" cannot be used as an adjective, unlike professions.

The adjective derived from "héros" is "héroïque".

  • ce sont des héros / des héroïnes
  • ils/elles sont héroïques
September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jassna

what's the feminine version of this sentence?

October 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Ce sont des héroïnes.

October 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KimmyZee

They are heroes; could be used to describe a particular group of men as heroes, and therefore "Ils" should be accepted as an alternate answer. e.g. If a group of male firefighters saved me from a burning building, I'd say, "Ils sont des héros," because "They" would be referring to a particular group of men.

September 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The issue is not with the meaning but with the grammar:

  • il/elle est + modified noun = c'est + modified noun
  • ils/elles sont + modified noun = ce sont + modified noun

Please take a good look at this: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/1084809044

Who not ils sont des heros

June 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

if you have not understood what I wrote above, then please read this: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

June 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/richard.ha781215

Thank you for that. It's a great link!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronDandr

I understand the explaination but "they are heroes" and "these are heroes" in French are the same thing? Or there are some differences?

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

ce sont des héros = they are heroes or these are heroes.

To insist on the demonstrative aspect of that sentence, we may add something emphatic:

  • ceux-ci / ceux-là sont des héros (these ones are heroes)
  • voici / voilà des héros (here are heroes)
July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olaalewa

I understand "Ce sont des héros" is correct, but what about "Ils sont héros"?

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"héros" is not a profession and cannot be used as an adjective, ie without an article.

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/olaalewa

thank you, now it's clear :)

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth870279

This is probably a dumb question but why is this not "Ce sont les héros"? Is the "des" partitive which means "some" or is the "des" = "de + les" in which case I enquire why should there be a "de" or "of" included in the sentence? -- doesn't "Ce sont des héros" mean either "they are some heroes" or "they are of the heroes"

March 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/La_Mariette

I have the exact same question. Les héros sont intelligents, par example. So why "des" if it moves to the back of the sentence...argh...

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JulesF.

why isn't it ces sont des héros?

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"ce" is invariable as a pronoun before "sont".

"ces" is an adjective you can use before a plural noun: ces chiens, ces filles = these/those dogs/girls

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lilliaslord

Ils n'ont pas eu peur, Ils sont nos héros - Paris Match I am still confused.

February 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

This is emphatic and a "new style" that journalists seem to like.

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Oliviez

Ok, how do we say in English : 'Ils sont des héros' ?

July 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

They are heroes

July 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jeanarper

You can't say I am good in English except American English. It sounds like poor English to English ears, although decreasingly so, with the influence of American television etc. Just thought I'd mention, as the distinction between well and good is still significant in the UK, and the lack of it is an american thing. The same applies to the lack of adverbs in American English. Saying, someone did bad rather than badly, or to go slow instead of slowly, really sound broken in English English (because it is... But Obv the colloquial normal differ)

February 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikRed1

No, it's wrong in American English too, just that most Americans ain't speak english good.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Karuna8063

Love it! Got a, well...a good laugh, from your creative sentence!

January 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/angelo_vancouver

my french speaking colleague said, the correct translation here, without context is "Ils sont des heros" because that means THEY are heros whereas Ce sont des heros sort of means THESE are heros.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

In everyday conversations, French people use "ce sont des héros". In writing, and with some stylistic effect, you may read "ils sont des héros".

January 3, 2018
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.