English with a Geek!
And welcome to Zed On! I'm Zed,
the French geek answering YOUR questions about English!
And this week, we're talking about something that always baffled me since I've learned it in school.
The difference between the demonstrative "this" and "that".
It's pretty easy to translate in French:
it's "ce" before a male noun and "cette" before a female one.
And their plural "these" and "those"
are both translated as "ces".
And if it's by itself, it will be "ceci" or "cela"
or as French would commonly say : "ça".
From English to French, it's a piece of cake.
But what if we want to say "ce" or "ça" in English,
what do we choose?
In English class, we learn it's a question of distance.
"This" and its plural will be used to show something near you.
And "that" and its plural for something far from you.
But here's the thing I wasn't familiar with until now:
it's not just physical distance,
but also an emotional one.
Want to talk about something that interests you,
something making you happy or has some kind of significance,
you're going to use "this".
And for something you want to get away from,
because you don't like it or it doesn't concern you,
Same thing for distance in time !
In the present time, something important right now,
"this" is what you need.
For something in the past, that is over,
But we have one last problem:
when you want these word in English:
For example, you want to say:
There are three possible translations for the word "ça", here abbreviated to "c'".
Here's how to choose:
"it" can be use for pretty much every situation.
But "this" and "that" will directly refer to something in particuliar,
in the previous examples,
it's something they just said;
literally the previous sentence.
That's all for the difference between these two words.
But "that" is also an adverb, a conjunction and a pronoun.
But we're going to keep that for another episode.
Thank you all for watching this episode of Zed On!
And if you have a question about English and French, leave this video a comment!
And on that, see you next week!