"Elle est jolie avec cette robe."
Translation:She is pretty in that dress.
In French, you can equally say both : elle est jolie dans/avec cette robe, but "to look lovely/pretty" does not directly translate to another verb than "être".
However, the French prefer "avec cette robe", because "dans cette robe" probably refers too directly to her body shape, rather than her overall looks.
People continue to say that on these boards that "since you can say such-and-such in French, you can translate it like that into English as well." This is simply not true; since the connotations in each language are different, the accepted English phrase needs to carry the same general meaning.
I mean, English has Germanic roots, even though a lot of its words have been borrowed from romance languages. That difference in root languages might account for some of the discrepancies.
If the French want to be specific and distinguish between "this" (something close by) and "that" (something far away), they can use the suffices -ci and -là respectively.
cette robe-là - "that dress"
cette robe-ci - "this dress"
Otherwise, as you have observed, they just use cette robe for either "this dress" or "that dress".
-ci comes from ici which means "here" and is also found in the demonstrative pronoun ceci (this). -là you may recognize is the word for "there", là and is in the demonstrative pronoun cela.
Note that even though cela (that) is a marriage of
ce + *là* i.e. "that + there",
there is no accent on the "a" in cela. Needless to say, ceci (this) is a combo of ce + *ici* i.e. "this + here".
Did the previous breakdown (repeated below) not clear that for you?
if followed by sont= those/these
ce sont... = those/these/they are...
if followed by est= this/that
c'est... = this/that/it is...
I cannot think of any other explanation simpler than that.
These websites try to explain the difference:
I don't think either answer is correct. "With that dress" is grammatically incorrect. And saying someone is nice implies they have a good personality, which would have nothing to do with what he/she is wearing. You can say "she looks nice".... or "she is pretty....in that dress".
They can now also be very colourful and look like silk. Usually these are simple, floaty garments worn at home or perhaps on holiday, by the swimming pool etc.
To my sense robe in English designates the shape of the garment, something that lies over the shoulders and is open in front though it can be tied closed with a belt. In effect this means something we commonly wear as a bathrobe or in some ceremony like an academic robe worn only on special occasions like graduation. It is different from a "cape" which ties around the neck and hangs mostly in back.
I'm afraid your question is too broad and not related to the sentence here. Please ask such questions on the sentence discussion thread of the sentence you have a problem with. Thanks.
I know what a "robe" is, and it is not a dress for everyday life.
What you refer to is not "une robe" but "une toge", "une robe longue", "une robe du soir", "une robe de chambre", "une robe d'avocat"...