6.4.1 Adjectival demonstrative pronoun (demonstrative adjective)

We have already seen the differentiation of adjectival and substantival with the possessive pronouns.

  Demonstrative pronoun
adjectival: I do not like this car.
substantival: I do not like this.

Here, we first have a look at the adjectival demonstrative pronouns, that are used before a noun. This again means that they have to conform in number and gender of the noun. The French demonstrative pronouns do not differentiate, how far the object is away. It can always mean this or that.

adjectival demonstrative pronouns
masculine feminine
  singular before consonant ce livre (this/that book) cette femme (this/that woman)
  before vowel cet arbre (this/that tree) cette étoile (this/that star)
  before mute h cet homme (this/that man) cette habitude (this/that habit)
  before aspirated h ce haricot (this/that bean) cette hache (this/that axe)
  plural   - ces livres (these/those books) ces femmes (these/those women)
  - ces arbres (these/those trees) ces étoiles (these/those stars)
  - ces hommes (these/those men) ces habitudes (these/those habits)
  - ces haricots (these/those beans) ces haches (these/those axes)

  Cet arbre est malade.
    This/that tree is ill.
  Ces arbres sont malades.
    These/those trees are ill.
  Cette femme est belle.
    This/that woman is beautiful.
  Ces femmes sont belles.
    These/those women are beautiful.

The demonstrative pronouns can help us to differenciate between singular and plural, because often we cannot hear the difference in the pronunciation of the noun.

    Je mange cette pomme. Je mange ces pommes.
    I eat this apple. I eat these apples.
    Je vois ce garçon. Je vois ces garçons.
    I see this boy. I see these boys.

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