Les pronoms démonstratifs

French Grammar (see all)

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Les pronoms démonstratifs

Demonstrative pronouns replace nouns which have just been mentioned. In English, we use the pronouns ‘this one’, ‘that one’, ‘these’, and ‘those’. They must agree in gender and in number.


Masculin
Féminin
Singulier
celui
celle
Pluriel
ceux
celles
- J’adore la barbe de Victor. - Oui, mais moi je préfère celle de Marcel. -I love Victor’s beard. -Yes but I prefer Marcel’s. (celle = la barbe, feminine singular)
De tous les livres que j’ai lus, ceux de Victor sont mes préférés. Of all the books I’ve read, those of Victor’s are my favorites. (ceux = les livres, masculine plural)

We add the suffixes -ci and -là to specify something or someone.

Masculin
Féminin
Singulier
celui-ci, celui-là
celle-ci, celle-là
Pluriel
ceux-ci, ceux-là
celles-ci, celles-là
- Ces chaussures sont magnifiques! - Moi, je préfère celles-là. -These shoes are amazing! -I prefer those ones. (celles-là = the other shoes that are there, not here)

-Ci refers to something which is close by, -là refers to another thing which is further away.
- Je voudrais une baguette s’il vous plaît. -I’d like a baguette please.
- Celle-ci ? -This one?
- Non, celle-là, elle est moins cuite. -No, that one. It’s less brown.

Note: Simple demonstrative pronouns (celui, celle, etc.) are always followed by a complement (celui que, celle qui, ceux de, etc.) Compound demonstrative pronouns (celui-ci, celle-là, etc.) aren’t followed by a complement.
- Quelle bouteille veux-tu ? -Which bottle do you want?
- Celle que tu as dans la main / Celle de Victor / Celle-ci / Celle-là. -The one you have in your hand/Victor’s one/This one/That one.


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