Demonstrative Adjectives: ce ces cet cette : this that

Demonstrative Adjectives : Adjectifs démonstratifs
This and that - is a skill many English speakers (such as I and others) have difficulty getting our heads around.

To quote fancyfeet711 from this discussion :
"Demonstratives give me a really hard time because I find a lot of them mean something similar but slightly different and I get frustrated being corrected for something like the difference between 'this' and 'that' or 'some' and 'these' etc. Things that, for native English speakers don't always exist, or in context of a casual conversation may not matter in either language!

I'm also starting to reach a point where in my head I have to separate the languages rather than find an English equivalent, which is difficult, especially for grammar."

For ideas of how to tackle this, check out the tips and notes from these skills:

  • Demonstrative 1 : ça, ce, cette, cet, ces : "this", "that", "these", and "those"
  • Demonstrative 2 : ceci, cela, celui, celle, ceux, celles : "this" or "that"
  • Demonstrative 3 : celui-ci, celui-là, celle-ci, celle-là ; ceux-ci, ceux-là, celles-ci, celles-là : "this one" or "those"

Also from the internet:

And sundry other discussions - that I have not yet reviewed :

p.s. this post was inspired by a question A_User recently posed.
Please comment here any other references, reviews, or things that helped you to get your head around this topic.

November 8, 2015


Thanks for the mention! And thanks for this post as well.

November 10, 2015

It is my pleasure, and thanks for your question. I do believe it takes MANY teachers, mentors, resources, friends and experiences to learn a language. So if I can also encourage others to explain things - that also makes me happy :D

November 10, 2015

Well, I've looked at all these now, but for some reason none of it will stick in my head, except that I now remember that "ce" and "cet" are masculine and "ces" is plural. sighs

November 11, 2015

I have similar problems. Reading about the rules just isn't enough to make them stick. Unfortunately the only thing that will is experience, each time you encounter them in lessons, that example gains some traction.

I think what would be most useful to you at this point would be a cheat sheet. A handy reference you can stick up next to your monitor and refer to when you need it. That way when you come across one in a lesson you can look it up, apply it, and learn from the application without the frustration of trying to remember it from the last time you read about it.

November 11, 2015

That is an excellent idea. Thanks!

November 11, 2015
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