I was reading a podcast text and found this sentence:

ça peut être des attentats, c'est-à-dire des attentats terroristes.

and then I threw the English version of it into Google Translate and got this in return:

ça peut être des attentats, c'est-à-dire d'attentats terroristes.

Does this mean both "de" and "des" here are ok (if so, why?) or is one of these two sentences a wrong one?

1 Answer 1


The second sentence is incorrect, des is required here.

A reason that might explain why the translator was mistaken is that peut être and peut s'agir are synonymous but the latter use de:

Il peut s'agir d'attentats, c'est à dire d'attentats terroristes.

  • Thank you very much. I just know the translator can't really be trusted. Mar 4, 2020 at 1:36

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