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Ce and ça both mean the same thing (this) in French, so what is the difference between them? When would someone use one over the other?

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ce (cet, cette) is an adjective, and thus will be followed by a noun. Ça is a pronoun and thus replaces a noun. (There is also çà which is an old synonym of ici).

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Why is ce sometimes used as a pronoun? For example, c'est is a contraction of ce est, and means 'it is' or 'this is.' –  Orcris Mar 11 '13 at 23:04
@Orcris: I'm not sure it's exactly a pronoun in those uses -- or if it is, it's a strange one. Note that you write "ce sont" when what follows is plural; and note that the choice between "c'est" and "il est" depends chiefly on what follows ("c'est un homme" vs. "il est grand"; "c'est difficile à dire" vs. "il est difficile de dire ça"). –  ruakh Mar 12 '13 at 0:19
This isn't correct....@UnFrancophone "c'est" is obviously a contraction of ce + est meaning this is or it is, where ce is it or this. It is most definitely a pronoun. –  Aerovistae Mar 12 '13 at 5:06
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ce#French –  Aerovistae Mar 12 '13 at 5:08
This link has the real answer to the question: french.about.com/od/grammar/a/… –  Aerovistae Mar 12 '13 at 5:11
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