ces, ses, c’est ou sait ?

French Grammar (see all)

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Ces, ses, c’est ou sait ?

The terms ces, ses, c’est and sait are homonyms: they are pronounced in the same way, but are spelled differently and don’t share the same meaning.

•  C’est (‘it’s’ or ‘that’s’) is the contraction of cela and est (the present tense form of être). We use it all the time, mostly with nouns, pronouns and adjectives to present, indicate or show something.
C’est une belle voiture ! That’s a great-looking car!
- Qui a fait ça ? - C’est moi ! -Who did that? -It was me! (Note that c’est is quite idiomatic, we couldn’t say ‘it’s me’ in English here)

•  Ces is a plural demonstrative adjective meaning ‘these’ (or ‘those’). We use it with plural nouns. ADJECTIFS DEMONSTRATIFS
Ces chaussures sont trop petites. These shoes are too small.
Tu me passes ces papiers-là ? Can you hand me those papers?

•  Ses is a plural possessive adjective, meaning ‘his’ or ‘hers’. We also use it with plural nouns. ADJECTIFS POSSESSIFS
Victor a invité ses amis ce soir. Victor has invited his friends this evening.

•  Sais and sait are the je, tu and il, elle, on forms of the verb savoir in the present tense. conjugaison
Je sais parler français. I know how to speak French.
Gérard Therrien ne sait pas ce qui se passe sur Terre. Gérard Therrien doesn’t know what is happening on Earth.

•  S’est is the contraction of the reflexive pronoun se and est (from être). We use it with the il, elle, on form of pronominal verbs conjugated in the passé composé tense.
On s’est bien marré non ? We had a great laugh, didn’t we?
Muriel s’est fait mal au pied. Muriel hurt her foot.

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