French Grammar: Demonstrative Adjectives

French Grammar: Demonstrative Adjectives

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French Grammar: Demonstrative Adjectives
la grammaire française: les adjectifs démonstratifs

  • Used to point out (demonstrate) people, places, and things.
  • Must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.


Don’t get Demonstrative Adjectives confused with Demonstrative Pronouns! They look somewhat similar, but have different functions!

Demonstrative Adjectives can mean either this/that or these/those. They point out nouns that have already been identified, and also imply distance from the speaker.

The French Demonstrative Adjective has four forms. Each form agrees in gender and number with the noun it modifies.

ce (masculine singular) : this / that

ce livre
this/that book

cet (masculine singular) : this / that
(This form is used before a noun that begins with a vowel or mute ‘h’.)

cet homme
this/that man

cette (feminine singular) : this / that

cette maison
this/that house

ces (masculine or feminine plural) : these / those

ces garçons // ces filles
these/those boys // these/those girls

French speakers don’t differentiate between this/that or these/those if the position of the noun(s) identified can be determined by context. When necessary, -ci can be added to a noun to specify this/these. Likewise, -là can be added to a noun to specify that/those. This distinction is usually used for the purpose of contrasting nouns that are closer to or farther from the speaker (and even then, the French will often use -là in situations where English would use this/these).

ce livre-ci : this book (as opposed to that book over there)

cette maison-là : that house (as opposed to this house here)

ces garçons-ci et ces filles-là : these boys (here) and those girls (there)


J’aime ces jupes.
I like these skirts.

Ma mère voudrait une bague. Je vais acheter cette bague-ci.
My mother wants a ring. I am going to buy this ring.

Mon professeur choisit un livre.  Il lira ce livre-ci.
My professor is choosing a book. He will read this book.

Cette maison est chère.
That house is expensive.

Ces chaussures sont bon marché.
These shoes are inexpensive.

Elle achète ces chemises-ci et aussi ces chemises-là.
She is buying these shirts and also those shirts.