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The Demon in Demonstratives - ahhhhh!

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Demonstratives in grammar show where an object, event, or person is in relation to the speaker.

In English they are here , there , this , that , these , those

In French, they are:

demonstrative adjective

e.g. this, that, these, those.
Adjectives modify nouns they refer to, and must agree with the noun they modify.

Gender Singular Plural
Masculine ce/cet ces
Feminine cette ces

The singular masculine ce becomes cet in front of a vowel sound.

for more info. see: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Demonstratives-1

demonstrative pronouns

e.g. this one, that one, these, those

Type Adj + Noun ⇒ Pronoun English
Masc. Sing. ce + noun ⇒ celui the one / this one / that one
Masc. Plur. ces + noun ⇒ ceux the ones / these / those
Fem. Sing. cette + noun ⇒ celle the one / this one / that one
Fem. Plur. ces + noun ⇒ celles the ones / these / those

Pronouns replace a demonstrative adjective + noun for the sake of avoiding repetition. Demonstrative pronouns refer to a very specific thing and cannot stand alone. They must be used in one of three constructions.

for more info. , including these constructions, see: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Demonstratives-2

Also note, for: this one, those , to the pronouns above, do this:

Add -ci for "this/these" and -là for "that/those".

for more info. see: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Demonstratives-3

Also there are indefinite demonstrative pronouns : ce, ceci, cela, ça , which do not change according to the gender or number of the noun that they are referring to. ( also check out https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13828 )

These notes are primarily based on the Tips and Notes that are in the course skills about Demonstratives. I am presenting them here - so as to give myself a better overview of this challenging topic, and hoping this overview may also assist others.

Also, don't forget to check out other discussion people have made on this topic, by checking out "Related discussions" , that appear on the right hand side of many older posts.

Another older post of mine on this subject can be found here:
Demonstrative Adjectives: ce ces cet cette : this that

Please also tell me of other posts or information that you have found useful on this subject.

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December 28, 2017



In particular, I have gathered this list together in this way, as I was struggling with sentences such as:

Ces chats sont ceux de mes frères. : These cats are my brothers'. ( or These cats are those of my brothers'. )

When I was seeing both ces and ceux , it was confusing me, and somehow I was having trouble working out why ces was used where it was, and then ceux was used.

This is as ces is a demonstrative adjective, which is modifying the noun in this case of chats

While ceux is a demonstrative pronoun, that is replacing the demonstrative adjective + noun. In this case that is Ces chats , "These cats".

For me to understand this, I needed to look at the big picture of Demonstratives. And I thought this overview may also be of assistance perhaps to others.


Thank you so much. This has clarified a lot. I was confused on seeing both Ces and ceux in the same sentence. Your explanation really broke it down nicely.

The links are perfect just what was needed. Again thanks.


Have some lingots to pay off the mortgage. ;0 Seriously, many thanks for all this.


Merci beaucoup! This really cleared up my mind:)


De rien <3
Do though ask questions on issues, if other issues come up.

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