Demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) are words used in place of articles to indicate a specific noun. Like other adjectives, demonstrative adjectives in French agree in number and gender with the noun they qualify.
- Ce is the masculine singular demonstrative adjective:
Ex. J’aime ce livre.- I like this book.
- Ce becomes cet in front of a masculine noun that begins with a vowel or mute h.
Ex. Cet homme est gentil. – This man is nice.
- In the feminine singular, the demonstrative adjective is cette.
Cette fille est americaine. – This girl is american.
- In the plural, the only form is ces.
Ex. Donne-moi ces livres! – Give me these books!
Demonstrative adjectives in French can be modified in order to indicate (relative) proximity and distance. Often this is not necessary, as context will be sufficient to clarify the meaning; but if needed, proximity is indicated by adding the particle -ci to the end of the noun, distance is indicated by adding the particle -là to the end of the noun.
Ex. Ce prof-ci parle beaucoup, Ce prof -là est sympatique –This teacher talks too much, that teacher is nice.