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Pointing
Les Adjectifs Demonstratifs Demonstratives Adjectives

  Masculine Feminine  
singular
ce tableau
cet homme *
this painting
this man
cette histoire this story
plural ces miracles these miracles ces guerres these wars

*When masculine nouns begin with a vowel or silent 'h', cet is used.

Cet hôtel est bon marché.
This hotel is inexpensive.

The above demonstratives are used with nouns and are technically adjectives.

Les Pronoms Demonstratifs Demonstrative Pronouns

Ce is equivalent to 'this' & 'that' however it is used only with the verb être. It is shortened to c' when être is in a form that begins with an e.

  -Ta nouvelle voiture est prête. Your new car is ready.
  -C'est magnifique! That's great.
  Regarde le coucher du soleil. Look at the sunset!
  -C'est très beau! It (the sunset) is very beautiful!


The following demonstratives are used to point out objects.

  Singular Plural
Masculine
celui ceux
Feminine
celle celles

Normally either -ci, indicating that the object is near, or -là, indicating distance, is attached to these pronouns.

  Celui-ci this one (masculine)
  Celle-là that one (feminine)
  Vouz préférez celui-ci ou celui-là? Do you want this one (masculine) or that one (masculine)?


Finally there is cela, and it's informal equivalent, ça. Both can be use to refer to objects as well as the indefinite- things like ideas and events. They are often used when making general statements about something.

  Le poisson, ça pue. Fish, it stinks.

or when an object is unknown.

  Je fais quoi avec ça? I do what with this?
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