Demonstrative Adjectives

Leçon 34 – Demonstrative Adjectives

A demonstrative adjective stands before a noun, in place of an article, and has the meaning “this/that/these/those”. The French demonstrative adjective agrees in gender and number with the noun it qualifies. The plural form is the same for both genders.

  • Masculine singular noun beginning with a consonant or an aspirated “h” :
    • ce – this/that
      • ce chien – this/that dog
      • ce héros – this/that hero
  • Masculine singular noun beginning with a vowel or muted “h” :
    • cet – this/that
      • cet enfant – this/that child
      • cet hiver – this/that winter
  • Feminine singular (all forms)
    • cette – this/that
      • cette fleur – this/that flower
      • cette onde – this/that wave
  • Plural (both genders)
    • ces – these/those
      • ces rideaux – these/those curtains
      • ces cartes – these/those cards

Note that contrary to English, in French, the appropriate form of the demonstrative adjective must be repeated before every noun when there are two or more items:

  • Ces chaises, ces fauteuils, et cette table iront dans la salle de séjour.
  • These chairs, armchairs, and table will go in the living room.

The French demonstrative adjective does not convey the distinction between “this” and “that”. Where the distinction is important, -ci (this/these), or -là (that/those) must be added to the end of the noun being qualified:

  • Est-ce que vous préférez ce manteau-ci ou ce blouson-là ?
  • Do you prefer this coat or that jacket?
  • Ces oranges-ci sont trop mûres, mais ces bananes-là sont bonnes.
  • These oranges are over ripe, but those bananas are good.

Have a great week, friends!

A la prochaine !

Courtney

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