Can "these" ever be translated as "ce" as opposed to "ces" in French?

Adiel

Kwiziq community member

19 December 2018

3 replies

Can "these" ever be translated as "ce" as opposed to "ces" in French?

What is the proper way to translate: "These are good family times" in French? Google Translate and Duolingo have it as "ce sont de bons moments en famille" but isn't "these" supposed to be "ces"? Confused! Please help!

This question relates to:
French lesson "Ce/cet/cette and ces = this/that and these/those (demonstrative adjectives)"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

19 December 2018

19/12/18

You use ces when it relates to an easily identifiable noun. In the example you quote, "these" relates to a more vague and general time rather than a concrete noun.

Ce sont de beaux temps. -- These are good times.
Ces vacances étaient merveilleuses. -- This vacation was marvelous.

Adiel

Kwiziq community member

19 December 2018

19/12/18

Thank you. Would you be able to tell me if "these" is a demonstrative pronoun or demonstrative adjective? And also, would you be able to elaborate or point me towards a more technical explanation on why "these" can be translated as "ce" in certain cases?  

Chris

Kwiziq community member

19 December 2018

19/12/18

If followed by a noun, "ce/cette/ces" is a demonstartive adjective and agrees in number and gender with the noun. If followed by a verb (often times "est" or "sont") it is always "ce".

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