The use of "ce" as subject is different from the use of "ce" as descriptive pronoun. "Ce" as subject will never be plural, but the descriptive pronoun has to match the noun. So, for instance, here you have "Ce sont les meilleurs", but you would have to write "Ces filles sont les meilleures" ("Those girls are the best")
PtiTSeb, your point is correct but your terminology is a bit off. "Ce" is usually called a demonstrative pronoun, and "ces" is a demonstrative adjective (not "descriptive pronoun").
A rule picked up along the way...If you want to say "ces sont...", you must drop the "s" so you don't have two S's next to each other. It's to ease pronunciation and you end up with "ce sont" even though it is plural.
As someone said to me in another thread (and I noted down, sorry for not retaining the attribution, though @sitesurf is usually a good suspect):
> "Ces" is a demonstrative adjective. It needs to be attached to a noun > (i.e. it doesn't act as a pronoun.)
[This isn't really different from what @PtitSeb has said, just put differently.]
Here's an example of how "meilleure" is used in the sense of good, better, best. Cette pomme est bonne, cette pomme-là est meilleure que celle-ci, et celle-là est la meilleure. This apple is good, that apple is better than this one, and that one is the best.
n6zs- - - i like that sentence. it's going down in my french notes as a reference for constructing similar sentences. thank you.
Indeed, for singular: "le mieux", "la mieux" or plural "les mieux" also mean "the best".
Comme bon et bien, meilleur et mieux peut être déroutant pour les étudiants français. Meilleur est la forme comparative et superlative de l'adjectif bon (bon), tandis que mieux est la forme comparative et superlative de l'adverbe bien (bien). Lors de la traduction en anglais, il n'y a pas de différence entre meilleur et mieux, d'où la confusion.
Meilleures is better, mieux is best. How do you translate this as the best ones? Wrong!
It is the use of the article before the word that changes it from "better" to "best". I.e., meilleur(e) (adj) = better. Le meilleur/la meilleure = the best, or you could say "the best (one)". "Mieux" can be used the same way: le mieux, la mieux, les mieux.
I responded to 'Ce sont les meilleures." with "These are the best" and was marked wrong, with a correct answer of "Those are the best". Could it not be translated either way?
No, you don't conjugate the "ce" pronoun in that case. "Ce" is the neutral form (and would be "c'" if it was followed by a vowel. It's usually used as a subject with the verb "etre"
Yes, ce is a pronoun, which stands for a noun. It's an "indefinite demonstrative pronoun", which is why it remains 'ce' (not ces). When you first read the pronoun, you don't know if it's plural or not (though you later find out), which might make it easier to remember why it's invariant.
I'm still not sure about the difference between "Ils sont" and "Ce sont", even after Duo's brief explanation. Might anyone be able to explain the concrete differences between the two types of sentences?
Not really. "Le meilleur" means "the best". "Les meilleurs" = "the best". Note, there is no "bests". Meilleur by itself is an adjective used to describe a noun. *Le meilleur" is a pronoun representing whatever it refers to as being "the best".
OK, if "These are best" is incorrect (as dear Duo claims), how then would we say, "These are best," in French?
When used as an adjective, you would say "these are the best ones". Used as a noun, "these are the best (ones)." Either way, you use "les meilleur(e)s" in French. By itself, "meilleur(e)" means "better". By saying "le meilleur" or "les meilleurs", it means "the best".
Sorry, but I don't think you answered my question. I'll ask another way: I am choosing from among several sets of products, and having decided on a set, I want to say, "These are best." How would I say that in French?
Okay, Jean. I think the issue is that you have a set phrase in mind in English and you want to translate that to French in a literal, word-for-word fashion. What I am suggesting to you is that "best" (pl) in French is "les meilleurs" or "les meilleures". If you leave out the article in French (ce sont meilleurs), it would be "these are better". If you want to say "these are best" (i.e., "the best ones"), you have to think in French: "ce sont les meilleur(e)s"
Je vous remercie, n, pour confirmer ma réponse initiale , qui Duo a rejeté.
Ce sont les meilleures. This is "These are best" Why is "These are best" not accepted as a correct anwer?