"Have you written that book?"

Translation:Tu as écrit ce livre-là ?

December 11, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Is là really necessary? I was marked wrong for leaving it off.


French demonstrative adjectives make no distinction between "this" and "that"- ce, cet and cette can each mean either one.

Likewise, ces can mean "these" or "those". When you need to make this distinction (as in the given sentence) you can attach a suffix to the noun:

  • -ci = "this" or "these"
  • -là = "that" or "those"

Note, these suffixes apply to demonstrative pronouns, (celui, ceux, celle, celles), as well to remove ambiguity.


Usually, the addition of "-ci" or "-là" adds an intended nuance in meaning, since the French do not feel the need to differentiate "this" from "that" if it means they have to add a suffix.

In this sentence, and depending on the context, tone of voice, and body language, and when it is not comparative, "ce livre-là" can express surprise, despisal or admiration.

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