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French grammar - This here and that there - cela and ceci

This here and that there - cela and ceci

We have previously seen ce - the impersonal indefinite demonstrative pronoun.

Two common derivatives of ce are ceci and cela.

ceci is the contraction of ce + ici and means 'this'.

cela is the contraction of ce + and means 'that'.

Note however that ceci is rare in spoken French except when is used for contrast alongside cela.

Colloquially cela is used to mean both 'this' and 'that'.

Ça is the informal replacement for both cela and ceci - see the next topic.

Je ne veux pas ceci, je veux cela.
I don't want this, I want that.
Qui fait cela ?
Who is doing that?
Ceci peut nous aider.
This can help us.
Cela va dans la cuisine.
That goes in the kitchen.
Cela ne m'intéresse pas.
I do not care. *OR* That does not interest me.
Pourquoi tu brûles cela ?
Why are you burning that?
C'est délicieux. Qu'est-ce que cela ?
This is delicious. What is that?
Cela dépend.
It depends.
Cela dit, il est quand même un très bon ami.
That said, he is still a very good friend.

cela dit means 'that said' or 'having said that'

quand même means 'even so' or 'still'