In most cases, using the demonstrative adjectives ce/cet/cette/ces (see Ce/cet/cette and ces = this/that and these/those (French Demonstrative Adjectives)) on their own is good enough to express this/that/these/those in French.
But sometimes, especially with durations, you need to emphasise how far in the past (or in the future) something happened/happens (that day), or how close to now things are happening (these days).
"Ce/cet/cette/ces" with durations in French
Look at such cases in French:
Note that in this expression you use année and NOT an
To say that + [duration], use the agreed demonstrative adjective ce, cet, cette or ces + [durée] + -là
To say this + [duration], use the agreed demonstrative adjective ce, cet, cette or ces + [durée] + -ci
Note that ce/cet/cette/ces ...-là (that/those ...) is much more commonly used than its counterpart ce/cet/cette/ces...-ci (this/these ...).
However, ces jours-ci is perfectly correct to say these days:
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