Il ya a, c'est and ce sont

Paul

Kwiziq community member

13 January 2018

3 replies

Il ya a, c'est and ce sont

Hello, I am having difficulty when to use Il ya a, c'est and ce sont. Is there a resource on Kwiziq that can teach me the right way to use these alternatives?

This relates to:
Il y a = There is, There are -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2018

14/01/18

Ok, let's take "il y a" first. It means simply "there is/are" in the sense of that it exists or is present. For example: "Il y a de grandes montagnes en Autriche" -- "There are big mountains in Austria."

"C'est/ce sont" means "it is/they are". In this context "ce" is immutable and will never be "ces". "Ces" is a demonstrative pronoun and belongs to the family "ces, celles, ceux". It always needs a noun and is matched in number and gender to it.

Ce ne sont que des enfants -- They are only children.
Ces enfants se comportent bien. -- These children behave well.

Il y a des pommes fraîches? -- Are there fresh apples?
Ce sont des pommes fraîches. -- These are fresh apples.
Ces pommes sont fraîches. -- These apples are fresh.

Does this make it any clearer?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Paul

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2018

14/01/18

Thanks for your help Chris.
Rewriting your answer without the discussion of "ces" I get:
"il y a" ... means simply "there is/are" in the sense of that it exists or is present.
For example: "Il y a de grandes montagnes en Autriche" -- "There are big mountains in Austria."
"C'est/ce sont" means "it is/they are"...(and these are)....
Ce ne sont que des enfants -- They are only children.
Il y a des pommes fraîches? -- Are there fresh apples?
Ce sont des pommes fraîches. -- These are fresh apples.

So, if I understand correctly:
Ce sont des enfants - These/They are children
Il y a des enfants - There are children.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 January 2018

15/01/18

Yes, correct. Only "They are children" woukd be "Ils sont des enfants." Otherwise you surmise correctly.

-- Chris.

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