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  5. "Ce sont des filles."

"Ce sont des filles."

Translation:They are girls.

December 29, 2012



Why not "elles sont des filles"?


Why wouldn't it be Ces sont les filles if it translates "These are the girls.?"


"Ces sont" is incorrect because the pronoun "ce" does not have a plural form.

So "they are girls" or "these/those are girls" all translate to "ce sont des filles".


Ce does have plural form For Masculine and feminine it is ces.That's what i saw on internet.Is it correct ?


"Ce" is an indefinite pronoun with no plural form. "C'est" becomes "ce sont" in plural.

"Ces" is an adjective to be used before a plural noun: ces filles = these/those girls.


What's the difference between ce sont des filles vs. Ils ont des filles?


verb être/to be vs verb avoir/to have

ce sont des filles = they are girls

ils ont des filles = they have daughters


'Ont' means to have. So 'ce sont des filles' would mean 'these are girls'. 'Ils ont des filles' means 'they have girls'.


I would also write "These are girls." but duolingo renders me wrong then...


Is there a reason "They are girls." is wrong?


This is a rule:

You must change "il est un, elle est une" to "c'est un/une", and "ils sont des, elles sont des" to "ce sont des".

In French, "c'est" (sing.) and "ce sont" (plural) are used when a pronoun (it, she, he, they) is the subject of the verb "être" and followed by a modified noun ie determiner + noun.

  • it is a dog = c'est un chien
  • she is my friend = c'est mon ami(e)
  • he is the man I met yesterday = c'est l'homme que j'ai rencontré hier
  • they are 2 nice girls = ce sont 2 gentilles filles


Thanks for the explanation.


I wrote "They are girls" and it was correct


What is meant by a modified noun?


A modified noun is a noun preceded by a determiner:

  • an article: un, une, des, le, la, les
  • a number: un, deux, trois
  • a possessive adjective: mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes, son, sa, ses, notre, nos, votre, vos, leur, leurs
  • a demonstrative adjective: ce, cet, cette, ces
  • an indefinite adjective: certains, quelques


Sitesurf, I am so excited that this information is part of this lesson 5 practice! I know that you have given this information many times. I have also written it down a few times. I wish I had been offered the opportunity to learn from you and the Duolingo team before I am the age that I am now. I will keep working to understand your beautiful language. Thank you for your kind patience :-)


I really dont understand verb être and avoir. Can someone pleass explain?


"Être" (to be) and "avoir" (to have) are verbs which are also used as auxiliaries in compound tenses and verb forms.

Most of the time, "être" is used to describe someone or something and "avoir" to express possession.

However, there are a number of cases where "to be" does not translate to/from "être" nor "to have" to/from "avoir" because these verbs are used in a large variety of idiomatic expressions.

In this unit, you are learning the specific use of "c'est" or "ce sont", when the English sentence has "he/she/it is" or "they are", respectively.

If you have specific questions about the sentence at the top of the page, please ask. Yet, please first read the whole thread to get explanations on various questions other users have asked.


I wrote they are some daughters... Can someone explain how it is so wrong because as far as I'm concerned 'filles' can be 'girls' and 'daughters'... Even DL says so...



You are right - "filles" can translate as either "girls" or "daughters" depending on the circumstances.

We should consider "girls" as the main translation and use "daughters" only when something about the sentence suggests that "daughters" is intended. The most common clue is the use of a possessive adjective.


"La fille" = "the girl"

"Ma fille" = "my daughter".

The same works for "femme" where the same issue arises because "femme" can translate as either "woman" or "wife". So again consider "woman" as the main translation unless there is a possessive adjective or some other clue in the sentence that indicates that "wife" is intended.

Another point about your suggestion - again you are absolutely right that "des" can usually be translated as "some" but in this particular case "they are some girls/daughters" gives a slightly different meaning - it suggests "WOW! They are some girls" - there is something special about them - not just that they are girls.

So probably best to use "They are girls" as the translation.


"fille" means "daughter" in a family context and with possessive adjectives (la fille de l'homme = the man's daughter; ma fille = my daughter), that we don't have here.


What's wrong with "ce sont les filles" ?


les filles = THE girls.

"they are girls" is the plural of "she is a girl" -> in French, "ce sont des filles" is the plural of "c'est une fille".


I thought it was supposed to be these are girls


I wrote they are girls/ these are girls and DLs just like oops


Why "These are some girls" isn't accepted?


Technically I think it means that. but this is a case where "des" becomes more implied in translation. If that makes sense...


So can Ce be used as that, this, these, and they? In the later modules you learn that it's 'that' as well?


"ce" can be an adjective or a pronoun.

  • as an adjective, it can mean 'this' or 'that' in front of a masculine noun starting with a consonant sound: ce livre, ce chien...

  • as a pronoun, it is used as the subject of the verb "être" (and more rarely with "pouvoir"), in singular with "c'est" and in plural with "ce sont".

Depending on what follows, "c'est" can be used to translate various pronouns:

  • this is green, that is green = c'est vert, ceci est vert, cela est vert
  • he is a brave soldier = c'est un brave soldat (not il est)
  • she is my sister's friend = c'est l'ami(e) de ma soeur (not elle est)
  • it is my dog, this/that is my dog = c'est mon chien (not il est)
  • they are girls = ce sont des filles (not elles sont)



Why is "They are some girls" wrong? "Des" is a translation of "some" so why doesn't that phrase work?


"des" can be a translation of "some", but most of the time, in front of a plural noun, "des" is required, whereas "some" is not.


Why is it not "elles sont filles"? Doesnt that mean "ellas son ninas?"

or at least what's the difference between 'ce' and 'elles'?


If you can't read the whole thread or if you can't access to tips and notes in the lessons, please read this: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est


what's the difference between "Ce" and "C'est".


If you can't read the whole thread or if you can't access to tips and notes in the lessons, please read this: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est


I typed what the system indicated was correct


You can justify "It's girls" in English, in this impersonal usage. "Who's at the door?" "Oh, it's (just) girls". "Was that your father on the phone?" "No, it was girls, messing about". "Who's on the team, is it boys or girls?" "Oh, it's girls today, boys tomorrow!"


Why not Ces in place Ce.


"Ce" is an indefinite pronoun with no plural form: "C'est" becomes "ce sont" in plural.

"Ces" is an adjective to be used before a plural noun: ces filles = these/those girls.


These are girls? Why is that wrong


Hi there. Elles sont and ce sont ate both they are. How do you know which one to use?


When "they are" is followed by a modified noun, you have to change it to "ce sont".

A modified noun is a noun preceded by a determiner: article, possessive or demonstrative adjective, indefinite adjective or number.

  • They are girls = Ce sont des filles.
  • They are the girls I know = Ce sont les filles que je connais.
  • They are these girls who are taking the exam = Ce sont ces filles qui passent l'examen.
  • They are his daughters = Ce sont ses filles.
  • They are two/a few girls from the school = Ce sont deux/quelques filles de l'école.

Otherwise, you keep the personal pronoun "ils" or "elles".

  • They are nice (adjective) = Ils sont gentils / Elles sont gentilles.
  • They are at the station (location) = Ils/Elles sont à la gare.
  • They are mine (possessive pronoun) = Ils/Elles sont à moi.


I know this but how do I know it is the right answer

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