"He is a man and he is rich."
Translation:C'est un homme et il est riche.
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When describing people and things with être in French, you usually can't use a personal subject pronoun like il. Instead, you must use the impersonal pronoun ce, which can also mean "this" or "that". Note that ce is invariable, so it can never be ces sont.
These pronouns aren't interchangeable. The basic rule is that you must use ce when être is followed by any determiner—for instance, an article or a possessive adjective. Note that c'est should be used for singulars and ce sont should be used for plurals.
C'est un homme. — He's a man. / This is a man. / That is a man.
Ce sont des chats. — They're cats. / These are cats. / Those are cats . C'est mon chien. — It's my dog. / This is my dog. / That's my dog.
If an adjective, adverb, or both appear after être, then use the personal pronoun.
Elle est belle. — She is beautiful. (Or "It is beautiful.")
Il est très fort. — He is very strong. (Or "It is very strong.")
Ils sont calmes. — They are calm.
Here is my question. I understand that "ce" could mean "that, he, she, this, those, etc," but how do I verbally make the distinction between "that" and "this" in French without context? Or rather, can someone demonstrate these two sentences in French?
This is an apple. That is an apple.
In general, the French don't really make the distinction, both would be expressed with "c'est une pomme". If you really need to distinguish, you have these to use:
- celui = the one - masculine singular
- celle = the one - feminine singular
- ceux = the ones - masculine plural
- celles = the ones - feminine plural
- celui-ci = this one - masculine singular
- celle-ci = this one - feminine singular
- ceux-ci = these (ones) - masculine plural
- celles-ci = these (ones) - feminine plural
- celui-là = that one - masculine singular
- celle-là = that one - feminine singular
- ceux-là = those (ones) - masculine plural
- celles-là = those (ones) - feminine plural
So your sentences would be "Celle-ci est une pomme" and "Celle-là est une pomme" - but those sound quite bizarre on their own, as if you know your interlocutor realises that the one over there is an apple but might think that this particular one here is an orange in disguise. "Celle-ci est une pomme, mais celle-là est une orange." is ok, because there you're contrasting "celle-ci" and "celle-là"