Demonstrative Adjectives

French demonstrative adjectives
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Adjectifs démonstratifs

Demonstrative adjectives are used to indicate a specific noun or nouns. In French, they must agree with the noun(s) in number and sometimes gender.

Par exemple…

Ce livre est très bon. This/That book is really good.
Je vais acheter ces chaises. I’m going to buy these/those chairs.

Characteristics of demonstrative adjectives

  1. Used in place of an article, not with one
  2. Placed directly in front of a noun or an adjective + noun
  3. Agree with the demonstrated noun in number and sometimes gender
  4. Demonstrative adjective + noun can be replaced by a demonstrative pronoun

French demonstrative adjectives

  Masculine  Before vowel Feminine
this, that   ce  cet   cette
these, those    ces  ces   ces

+ There are three singular adjectives:

  1. Masculine: ce
  2. Masculine in front of a vowel: cet
  3. Feminine: cette

+ When a singular demonstrative adjective precedes a masculine noun or adjective that begins with a vowel or h muet, cet is used to avoid a hiatus – learn more.

Par exemple…

ce homme   cet homme   this/that man
ce ancien château   cet ancien château   this/that former château

+ There is only one plural demonstrative adjective: ces.

  Cettes does not exist, and neither does cets.

Par exemple…

ces femmes these/those women
ces hommes these/those men

  French vs English

French demonstrative adjectives make no distinction between "this" and "that" – ce, cet, and cette can each mean either one. Likewise, ces can mean "these" or "those." When you need to make the distinction, you can attach a suffix to the noun:

Par exemple…

cette chaise-ci   this chair
ces chaises-là   those chairs
Je vais à cet hôtel-ci, pas à cette maison-là.   I’m going to this hotel, not that house.
   
PwLF quiz: Dans un magasin de vêtements

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

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French demonstrative adjectives

 

Ce, cet, cette - French demonstrative adjectives

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2 Responses

  1. Armaan Kapila 7 September 2018 / 12:10

    If you were to say, “I like those ones/these ones”, is that using demonstrative adjectives? And in french would the noun have to be added to the end of the statement? Finally, what if the things being referred to was a collection of different objects such as “wash those dishes before these ones.” Thank you:)

    • lkl 7 September 2018 / 12:26

      No, “those ones / these ones” are demonstrative pronouns: J’aime ceux-là / ceux-ci.

      If there’s a noun added to the end, then you’re using a demonstrative adjective: J’aime ces livres.

      “Wash those dishes before these ones” – those dishes = demonstrative adjective + noun (cette vaisselle-là), these ones = demonstrative pronoun (celle-ci).