French: ces, ce, cet, cela, c'est, cette, and celui

Bonjour, I am a little confused with the translations or construction of these words. What is the difference between celui and cela? Ce, cet, and cette? I understand that ces is the plural version of ce, cet, and cette, but what is the difference between ce and c'est? Any advice or information is greatly appreciated! :) -Charis

June 19, 2015


Celui means "the one" when talking about a person or a thing already mentioned. Its feminine counterpart is celle.

Cela means "that"; its companion is ceci, which means "this".

Ce means 'this" or "that" and has to be followed by a noun. It goes with masculine nouns beginning with a consonant (ex: ce chapeau).
Cette means the same, only with feminine nouns (ex: cette idée).
Cet means also the same, and is used with masculine nouns beginning with a vowel or a mute h (ex: cet exercice -un exercice). It differs from ce so it's easier to pronounce: the liaison avoids your having to take a break between two words.

This link might help you make the difference between them if it's too confusing :)

C'est means "it is" or "this is". It is simply the contraction of ce + est.

Hope that's clear enough :)

June 19, 2015

Very good! Thanks.

June 19, 2015

thank you! really helped!

December 28, 2017

Thank you a lot.

December 18, 2018

I have looked at this before and used French About to help me. They have a good page on it and it is a useful site for other such questions:

June 21, 2015

Thank you for your help!

June 21, 2015

great question, i was thinking this same !

June 21, 2015
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