Ceci, cela = this, that (demonstrative pronouns)

Look at these uses of ceci and cela in context:


L'environnement est une cause importante. Je comprends cela.
The environment is an important cause. I understand that.

Ceci est essentiel donc soyez attentifs à la leçon.
This is essential so pay attention to the lesson.

Cela dit, il est quand même un très bon ami.
That said, he's still a very good friend.


Ceci and cela (this and that) refer to an indefinite expression or an idea.


Like in English, 'ceci' (this) is used when introducing the notion, whereas 'cela' (that) is refering to an idea already mentioned.

Faire mes devoirs ou dormir, je préfère ceci plutôt que cela.
Doing my homework or sleeping, I prefer this rather than that.

Note: when they are both used, ceci usually refers to the 'former' and cela the 'latter' idea.
 

In a more common, less formal speech, you can also replace ceci and cela indiscriminately with ça .

ATTENTION: fixed expressions such as ''that said'' (cela dit) can never become ça dit.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ceci est essentiel donc soyez attentifs à la leçon.
This is essential so pay attention to the lesson.


L'environnement est une cause importante. Je comprends cela.
The environment is an important cause. I understand that.



Cela dit, il est quand même un très bon ami.
That said, he's still a very good friend.


Faire mes devoirs ou dormir, je préfère ceci plutôt que cela.
Doing my homework or sleeping, I prefer this rather than that.


Q&A

Lukas

Kwiziq community member

26 October 2017

3 replies

Cela étant dit = That being said?

One of the test questions was to translate "That being said" to French. Is "Cela étant dit" a correct translation? It was not accepted as such, but some web searching shows that at least other people think that one is correct in addition the official answer "cela dit".

Chris

Kwiziq community member

26 October 2017

26/10/17

"Cela étant dit" is certainly grammatically correct. I suspect, however, that it sounds very stilted and unnatural to French ears. I have encountered "cela dit" but have never heard someone use "cela étant dit".

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Ron

Kwiziq community member

26 October 2017

26/10/17

Bonjour Lukas, Je suis d'accord avec Chris. J'ai utilisé «cela dit» et je l'ai aussi entendu usé.

Lukas

Kwiziq community member

4 November 2017

4/11/17

Thanks to you both! I became a little bit wiser :)

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