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

AdielA1Kwiziq community member

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!
Asked 10 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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.

AdielA1Kwiziq community member
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?  
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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".

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!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Thinking...