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TNs, U56: Demonstratives 3 (Demonstrative Pronouns + Suffixes -ci & -là)

A demonstrative pronoun (e.g. "this one" or "those") replaces and agrees with a demonstrative adjective + noun. You learned four such pronouns in "Demonstratives 2".

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

Demonstratives like ce and celui are ambiguous and can mean either "this" or "that". To remove this ambiguity, you can add a suffix to the end of each pronoun. Add -ci for "this/these" and -là for "that/those".

  • Tu veux celui-ci. — You want this one.
  • Je préfère celle-là. — I prefer that one.
  • Celles-ci sont noires.These are black.
  • Elle n'aime pas celles-là. — She doesn't like those.

These suffixes can also be used with demonstrative adjectives in many situations.

  • Je suis très occupé ces jours-ci. — I am too busy these days.
  • Ils vous ont vus ce jour-là. — They saw you that day.
  • Le magasin est-il sur ce côté-ci de la rue ? — Is the store on this side of the street?
  • Elle connaît ce type-là. — She knows that guy.

In conversations, be aware that using demonstrative pronouns like celui-là to refer to people who aren't present can be considered condescending.

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January 4, 2019

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