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

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.


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


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 5 answers

Query regarding ceci/cela/ça

Bonjour Madame Cécile !

In a quiz, I was given the following sentences->

1. Ils sont riches. J'ai lu ________ quelque part. 

(They're wealthy. I read that somewhere.)

Now, the correct answer was cela/ça. Though I got it right but I would like to ask why “ceci” is inappropriate.

2. Elle pourra partir plus tôt : je lui ai promis ________. (She will be able to leave earlier: I promised her that.)

Here, too I would question whether “ceci” is acceptable or not.

3. ________  sera prévu. (It will be taken care of. )

The accurate answer is “Ce” but why can’t one use “Ça/Ceci/Cela” .

Merci beaucoup pour votre aide.

Je vous souhaite une bonne journée.

Asked 1 day ago

Query regarding ceci/cela/ça

Bonjour Madame Cécile !

In a quiz, I was given the following sentences->

1. Ils sont riches. J'ai lu ________ quelque part. 

(They're wealthy. I read that somewhere.)

Now, the correct answer was cela/ça. Though I got it right but I would like to ask why “ceci” is inappropriate.

2. Elle pourra partir plus tôt : je lui ai promis ________. (She will be able to leave earlier: I promised her that.)

Here, too I would question whether “ceci” is acceptable or not.

3. ________  sera prévu. (It will be taken care of. )

The accurate answer is “Ce” but why can’t one use “Ça/Ceci/Cela” .

Merci beaucoup pour votre aide.

Je vous souhaite une bonne journée.

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SallyC1

I thought that "Faire mes devoirs ou dormir, je préfère ceci plutôt que cela." meant "I prefer the latter (dormir) rather than the former (devoirs)"

But the Note says that ceci means former and cela means latter.  Which is correct?

Asked 3 months ago

Yeah, I could have sworn that ceci was the latter and cela was the former. 

SallyC1

If we are correct, then the Lesson is incorrect and should be changed.  If we are incorrect, then some textbooks need to be changed!

Sally asked:View original

I thought that "Faire mes devoirs ou dormir, je préfère ceci plutôt que cela." meant "I prefer the latter (dormir) rather than the former (devoirs)"

But the Note says that ceci means former and cela means latter.  Which is correct?

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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".
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer
"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).
RonC1
Bonjour Lukas, Je suis d'accord avec Chris. J'ai utilisé «cela dit» et je l'ai aussi entendu usé.
Thanks to you both! I became a little bit wiser :)

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".

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