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  5. "Comme ceci ?"

"Comme ceci ?"

Translation:Like this?

March 4, 2013



Ceci is the contraction of ce + ici (this + here), while cela is the contraction of ce + là (this + there). When translating, note that you do not say "this here" or "that there", just "this", and "that". These are pronouns and are typically used as the subject of a sentence.

Ceci is rare in spoken French. Just as là commonly replaces ici in spoken French (Je suis là - I'm here), French speakers tend to use cela to mean either "this" or "that." Ceci only really comes into play when one wants to really distinguish between this and that, e.g.,

  • Je ne veux pas ceci, je veux cela = I don't want this, I want that.


When you say ceci is rare in spoken French, do you mean in all French, Canadian French, or France French?


I can't speak to what Canadian French or Belgian French or African French use. But Laura Lawless says it's rare, and I'll take her word for it. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefinite-demonstrative-pronoun.htm


I was reading an article that said that other versions of French only have very slight differences, so no matter what you learn you're not going to really get confused talking to another French speaker. From what I understand it's like an American talking to an English person.


That's exactly what I'm talking about. For example, if you asked where's the LIFT, someone could either be very confused or understand you're looking for the ELEVATOR. Both are English. Both are correct. Both are not necessarily used or understood depending on where you are.


OH! Now it's starting to make sense. Merci!


So what about ca, ce, or cette? Don't those also mean "this" or "that"?


"Ce", "cet", "cette" and the plural "ces" are demonstrative adjectives, not pronouns, i.e., they will always precede a noun and will be translated as "this" or "that" (a demonstrative adjective, not a pronoun); "ces" will be rendered as "these" or "those". "Ce", "ceci", "cela" and "ça" can be demonstrative indefinite pronouns; i.e., they substitute for a noun. They are not interchangeable. "Ça" is usually translated as "that" or sometimes "it". "Ceci" will always be translated as "this" (a pronoun, not an adjective). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives-and-pronouns.htm


Being a Southerner, I think of "ceci" as "this here" and "cela" as "that there." With a French accent, of course. :)


You can "think" of it that way, but you wouldn't translate it that way. Bon courage !


Oh okay, I think I see now, thank you!


i have a question. Can "comme ca" also mean the same as "comme ceci"? or is that a different meaning altogether?


As I said, French speakers do sometimes use "cela" to mean either "this" or "that", whereas "ceci" would only mean "this". "Comme ça" may be interpreted as either "like this" or "like that".


Thank you, good sir!


I really enjoy the fact that this section has no explanation for these terms that we are supposed to know....so we learn by guessing what they mean?


There are some excellent Tips & Notes available on the main page. When you select a subject area, e.g., "Demonstratives 2", you can read some basic information before you jump into the lessons.


Only the desktop has notes, the apps do not. Please! Correct me if I'm wrong.


The app is more a supplemental thing compared to the desktop page anyway. Although if they added T&N to the app that would be pretty great.


How to differentiate between Comment and Comme by hearing?


Two syllables vs one, respectively.


And what's the differences between comment and comme?


"Comment" means "how" (Comment ça va? = How are you?) and "Comme" means "like" when comparing (Le chien est comme le chat = The dog is like the cat) NOT as in "I like this" which would be "J'aime ceci". Hope that helps!


What about "comme ci", doesn't that mean "like this"?


No, that doesn't work, not even with celui/celle/ceux/celles-ci (that would translate to this/these ones [that/those ones won't work because then that would be celui/celle/ceux/celles-là]). Ci, on the other hand, is not a legitimate French word (it is actually ici contracted), so that wouldn't work either. Nor cela (ce + là?), as it would translate to "that".

The only correct translations I can think of as "correct" translation is the above one.

Correct me if I'm wrong, please.


I think you are a bit off... otherwise, "comme ci comme ça" has no meaning


As far as I know though « comme ci, comme ça » is an exceptional idiomatic phrase.


The Oxford French Dictionary shows "ci":

  • adverb, e.g., ce livre-ci = this book
  • demonstrative pronoun, e.g., ci et ça = this and that; l'un dit ci, l'autre dit ça = one says this, the other says that.


Though generally used as as adverb on Duolingo to emphasis this, e.g., ce livre-ci (this book), "ci" is also a demonstrative pronoun meaning "this", hence "comme ci" is definitely "like this". Here's another expression to demonstrate how it is used this way: l'un dit ci, l'autre dit ça = one says this, the other says that.


So just to confirm...

Ce (cet)/cette/ces = this/that (indefinite) Ca = this/that (indefinite, informal, for etre/avoir) Ceci = this (indefinite, formal) Cela = that (indefinite, formal) Celui = the one that.... Celui-ci = this one? Or 'this one here'? Celui-la = that one? Or 'that one here'?

Could someone clarify the difference between ceci and celui-ci?

And if ceci is indefinite, what is definite? Because the Duo Tips section gives the example 'Non, ceci est le mien. Cela est le tien' - which seems pretty definite.



Still there, skiffie? It may help to focus in on the part of speech because there are two kinds of "this/that/these/those".

  • Ce, cet, cette : are used as demonstrative adjectives. Used before a noun (e.g., ce livre, cette voiture), they mean "this/that book", "this/that car".
  • Ce, ceci, cela, ça : are indefinite demonstrative pronouns. Note that "ce" may be used either as an adjective or a pronoun. There are also variable demonstrative pronouns (celui, celle, ceux, celles).

Explore these links for more information:


I wrote 'Like this here?' which is in fact its literal translation (ci is short for ici) and was told I was wrong :(


No, « ceci » is not juste « ce + ci », it's a word by itself meaning « this ».


In fact, « ceci » is the contraction of ce + ici (this + here) and « cela » is the contraction of ce + là (this + there).


Cool I picked a great day to come back and redo this unit, I would've been very confused by the previous thread if I had not seen your comment, it made so much sense that ceci must be ce+ici, but the last fella seemed so adamant. Thanks for clearing it up.


Ow. Sorry, I just figured it was because you have 'cela' as well, which is that (there?). That's how I got taught these things, but maybe that's because of the small grammar differences between the English and the Dutch language?


I'm not a French teacher, and because this things come so naturally to me, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to explain the different situations.

« Ceci » is definitely “this” but « cela » can be either “this” or “that”, and even “it” like in « Cela ne marche pas » (“it doesn't work”). Keep in mind that we say « cela » a lot a time in his “casual” form: « ça » (avoid writing it, but you can say that as much as you want). We would say « Ça ne marche pas ».

But for a more technical answer about « ceci » and « cela », I'm afraid I don't know how to help you. Maybe someone here can.


Why "Comme" instead of "Comment"?


Comment means "how," doesn't it? Comme means "like"


i see people are saying that there is an explanation page. does anyone know where it is ?


When you start a skill, there's an explanation page below the lessons. It gives some background on what you're about to practice. I've started actually reading through them before starting the lesson, and it helps me a lot.

Also, during lessons, there is a link "Tips & Notes" in the upper left corner, below the blue bar.


why is it "ce matin" and not "cet matin"


"Cet" is used for masculine nouns that start with a vowel or mute "h", e.g., cet homme. If the noun was feminine it would be "cette pomme".


cecI = thIs celA = thAt

Incase it helps you remember


Why not, "Like this one?"


See the note from n6zs just below. Comme ceci is used when you are trying to show a move, a technique or something to someone. You just perform the move, technique etc and say to the person: comme ceci (like this) (but more often you will be saying comme ça or comme cela) . It will help to read above comments by n6zs as well for more specificity.

  • 2005

Could this phrasing of "Comme ceci¨ not also be translated as ¨Like this one?¨ in certain circumstances?


If you want to say "this one", it would be either "celui-ci" or "celle-ci". "Ceci" by itself is just "this" (pronoun).


The audio sounds really weird on this one. Doesn't sound like "ceci" at all


It sounds fine to me.

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