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Elles sont / Ce sont

Duolingo stated "elles sont des femmes" is wrong. I get that "ce sont ..." is one correct way to say "they are women", but I'm pretty sure I learned in school that you can also say "elles sont ..." Do you guys agree? Is it an error or am I mistaken in some way? If so, could someone explain it to me? Merci. :)

August 11, 2012


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Being only mildly proficient in French I will try. "Elles sont" makes it immediately clear, we are talking about females. "des femmes" would be stressed and convey the fact that they are women and not girls. "Ce sont" is more impersonal and the whole phrase just means they are females. Of course your translation should be accepted and you can do something about that by using the feedback.

August 11, 2012


siebolt is correct in his interpretation. As a general rule "Ce sont ... " is followed by a noun, and "Ils/Elles sont ..." by an adjective. So how can both be correct? "Femme" in French is either a noun - the female gender, or an adjective - a lady.


Is 'a lady' an adjective indeed?


It is a bit strange isn't it? Translates in my head as "It are women". I've been learning French for 4 years and this is the first I've heard about this. What a ridiculously difficult language French is sigh


Thank you very much! I just wanted to make sure that I didn't miss anything before using the feedback - which I'm going to do in case this happens again.

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