"The outside of that glass is dirty."
Translation:L'extérieur de ce verre est sale.
It's an adjective that means "this" or "that."
- this glass = ce verre
Only if you need to distinguish it from "ce verre-ci". If you have two glasses, for example, you'd say "Ce verre-ci est sale mais ce verre-là est propre".
If you only use "ce", how do you know if reference is being to "this" or "that"? I remember being taught (40 years ago, admittedly!) that one only used "ce" alone to denote "this". Has this rule changed?
The word “ce” has always referred to both “this” and “that”. This rule has never changed. You can differentiate them through context. It really doesn’t matter whether you say “this” or “that”. If absolutely necessary, you can add a suffix to the noun:
- ce verre-ci = this glass
- ce verre-là = that glass
I thought it also meant glass as in the material? Because when I read this sentence I thought of “glass” as in window, not a cup.
The material "glass" would also be "le verre". The closest match I could think of is that "glace" can also mean "mirror", which is technically not glass.