Complete Guide: The demonstrative Adjectives
Hi guys! Bonjour à tous!
I'm very happy to meet you for the second part of the New series on French grammar and more precisely The Determiners. You can find part one here on French Articles. I hope this will help get a much deeper comprehension of French ,one little step at a time. Let's go!
The demonstrative adjectives (D.A.) are use to verbally point at a particular item. The are translated by: this / that / these / those in English, depending on the context.
Is the object:
a. masculine singular
b. feminine singular
c. masculine / femine plural
You should use "ce". In the event that the masculine noun you're qualifying starts with a-e-i-o-u-y-h, you will have to use "cet" (pronounce /sɛt/
Ce cheval noir est très beau. This black horse is very beautiful.
Cet avion n'est pas grand. This plane is not big.
You should use "cette". It has the same pronunciation as "cet". But don't worry, as French will know if the noun is masculine of feminine (and you should too!).
J'aime beaucoup cette robe. = I like this dress very much.
Tu n'as pas cette chaise. = You don't have this dress.
Time to use "ces". If you are qualifying several items whether masculine, feminine or mixte, use "ces", pronounced /se/
Tu vois ces enfants ? = You see these children?
J'aime ces fleurs. = I like these flowers.
If you add "-ci" or "-là", the meaning will slightly change from this / that / these / those to this one / here / there depending on the context.
These two are mainly use as a pair and particularly to oppose each other as in "cet homme-ci... cet homme-là"
Ce .........-ci, cet .............-ci cette ..........-ci, ces ..........-ci
Ce mois-ci = this month (here)
Cette adresse-ci = this address (here)
Ce .........-là, cet .............-là cette ..........-là, ces ..........-là
Ce docteur-là = that docteur (there)
Cette femme-là = that woman (there)
Ces chien-là = those dogs (there)
The former is meant to refer to something close to you (emotionnaly or physically) while the latter refers to a more distant or not appreciated item / person.
I placed here / there into braquets as they are implied when using -ci or -là. The distance between one object and the other will determine which one to use.
I try my best to keep it short and simple, if it wasn't the case or informations were lacking don't hesitate to contact me, I'll be happy to help!