Home French Language French Demonstrative Pronouns: A Shortcut to Less complicated French

French Demonstrative Pronouns: A Shortcut to Less complicated French

French Demonstrative Pronouns: A Shortcut to Less complicated French


French demonstrative pronouns celui, celle, ceux and celles

Demonstrative pronouns are used to make sentences much less repetitive by permitting us to switch nouns with shorter phrases.

This beneficial information will clarify French demonstrative pronouns and present you the right way to use them!


What Are French Demonstrative Pronouns?

French demonstrative pronouns can loosely be translated to those English pronouns: “this one,” “that one,” “these over right here” or “these over there.”

The distinction is that the French demonstrative pronouns are only a bit extra sophisticated than the English ones.

English demonstrative pronouns solely have to agree in quantity with the nouns they change. French demonstrative pronouns should agree in each gender and quantity with the nouns they change.

The 4 French demonstrative pronouns are:

Demonstrative Pronouns vs. Determiners

There are some things to bear in mind when utilizing demonstrative pronouns:

  • They all the time have to have a transparent antecedent. Keep away from utilizing them if it’s unclear what they’re referring to. You’d by no means say “I desire this one” until the individual you had been speaking to already knew precisely what you meant by “this one.”
  • They change a noun in a sentence.

Demonstrative pronouns are completely different from demonstrative adjectives (additionally referred to as determiners), which precede the noun so as to level it out from others in a gaggle.

This instance reveals the distinction:

Determiner: Tu vois cet homme ? — Do you see that man?

Demonstrative: Celui avec la grosse moustache ? The one with the massive mustache?

French Demonstrative Indefinite Pronouns

When a demonstrative pronoun refers to an thought or a press release, you’ll wish to use a demonstrative indefinite pronoun. These are pronouns that seek advice from part of a sentence or to a particular clause.

In English, we generally use the phrases “this” or “that” in these conditions (for instance, “I didn’t hear that” or “Do you perceive this?”).

Chances are high you’ve already seen one in every of these indefinite pronouns very often within the phrase C’est. This phrase combines the demonstrative indefinite pronoun ce  with a type of the verb être to imply “That is” or “That’s.”

With any verb in addition to être, you must use the pronoun ça , which might imply both “this” or “that.”

Ça va bien ? — Is that going nicely?

Tu trouves ça originale ? — Do you discover this to be authentic?

In writing or in additional formal conditions, it’s possible you’ll discover that the pronouns ceci (this) or cela (that) are used as a substitute of ça. They can be utilized with any verb:

Je suis d’accord avec cela. — I agree with that.

Use French Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns ought to solely be used if you want to single one thing out from a gaggle with out naming the noun particularly.

These pronouns all the time stand alone.

Not like demonstrative adjectives, they aren’t accompanied by a noun, as a result of they perform because the noun within the sentence.

Typically, it’s a must to add a suffix—both –ci or –—to specify whether or not you’re referring to one thing close by or one thing distant.

Tu aimes celui-ci ? Non, je préfère celui-là. — Do you want this one right here? No, I desire that one over there.

Celle-ci est plus sympathique que celle-là. This one right here is nicer than that one over there.

When to Use French Demonstrative Pronouns

It may be complicated to strive to determine when you must use demonstrative pronouns versus other forms of pronouns.

To assist with this confusion, listed below are just a few particular conditions that point out precisely when a demonstrative pronoun ought to be used.

With a prepositional phrase

The most typical preposition that you just’ll use with a demonstrative pronoun is de.

On this case, you’re utilizing the pronoun to show relationship or belonging.

C’est ton livre ? Non, c’est celui de ma copine. — Is that your ebook? No, it’s the one belonging to my good friend.

Ce n’est pas ma gown; c’est celle de ma sœur. — It’s not my gown; it’s the one which belongs to my sister.

With a relative pronoun

The French relative pronouns are qui (who), que (what), lequel/laquelle (which), dont (whose) and  (the place).

These pronouns perform collectively to introduce a dependent clause.

Ceux qui veulent réussir doivent travailler. Those that wish to succeed should work.

Voici celle dont j’ai pensé. — Right here is the one which I used to be pondering of.

With a suffix (-ci or -là)

With no relative pronoun or prepositional phrase, you want one thing to specify what the demonstrative pronoun is referring to.

That is once you add the suitable suffix, both -çi for one thing that’s near you, or -là for one thing that’s farther away.

Je regarde celui-ci. — I’m this one right here.

As-tu vu celles-là ? — Have you ever seen these over there?

In the event you want extra follow in figuring out demonstrative pronouns and the right way to use them accurately, you need to use FluentU to observe genuine movies and see how native audio system use them.


With demonstrative pronouns, you’ll be capable of converse French extra concisely and sound extra fluent!