I was reading an article and came across these usages:

  1. En réalité ces symboles, CE SONT les symboles...
  2. Les premiers attentats, C'ÉTAIT contre le journal...

Why is "symboles" treated as a plural noun in "ce sont" while "attentats" is treated as a singular one in "c'était"?

I have come across similar usages several times in different materials now, so I don't think this is an issue exclusive to this particular article I am citing here.

  • 2
    Beware that your second case is not representative of a singular used instead of a plural. Only the singular is possible in C'était contre le journal because ce + être is not followed by a plural. The pronoun ce stays singular: cela était contre le journal.
    – jlliagre
    Mar 2, 2020 at 13:56
  • 1
    Les premiers attentats, ils étaient contre le journal would be ok but here, the meaning is That was against the newspaper.
    – jlliagre
    Mar 2, 2020 at 16:50
  • @jlliagre Thank you so much, I certainly learned a new thing from your comment. Mar 3, 2020 at 3:04


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