French Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are exactly what they say they are – pronouns that refer to a noun previously mentioned and demonstrate which one it is.

Some examples of such pronouns in English are: this, that, those.

As in most cases in the French language, these pronouns must agree in gender and number with the noun.


Singular – celui / this one
Plural – ceux / those


Singular – celle / this
Plural - celles / these

This type of pronoun is only used in certain ways:

With the –ci and –là endings. To distinguish between this one here and that one there, the endings –ci (here) and –là (there).

Quel garçon aimes-tu? Celui-ci ou celui-là?
Which boy do you like, this one or that one?

Regarde les jolies fleurs! Tu voudrais celles-ci ou celles-là?
Look at the pretty flowers! Do you want these ones here or those ones there?

In a prepositional phrase - the demonstrative pronoun is usually used with de, as in the following examples:

Quel équipe américaine préférez-vous? Celle de New York ou celle de Florida?

Je n'arrive pas à faire mon choise entre ces deux garçons. Celui de mon église est plus agréable mais celui de mon école est plus riche.
I cannot decide between these two boys. The one from my church is nicer, but the one from my school is richer.

When the French demonstrative pronoun is followed by a relative pronoun* and a dependent clause, it does not require the –ci or –là endings or the preposition.

Celui qui a volé l’argent ira en prison.
The one who stole the money will go to jail.

Celles qui viennent à la soirée vont recevoir un cadeau.
Those who come to the party are going to receive a gift.

*Note: A relative pronoun is a pronoun that replaces the subject (who, whom, that, which, etc).

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French Demonstrative Pronouns

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