Consider the following (Correct me if I'm wrong in either of the two examples):

Ce costume-là est en promotion mais pas ce costume-ci.

which translates to - "That suit is on sale but not this suit."

Ce costume n'est pas à sa taille.

which translates to - "This suit isn't his size."

So when do we use "-là"(or "ci") at the end of nouns?

  • 2
    You can translate this thing to cette chose-ci and that thing to cette chose-là. In English, every time you use this or that, you have to choose one of them. But French has a third option, which is say cette chose and leave out ci or ; this is done when the choice of this or that is either obvious or irrelevant. Apr 16 at 14:16
  • Some British English dialects use the emphatic forms "this here" and "that there". E.g. "I'd like to buy that there suit. This here one doesn't fit." Apr 26 at 7:12

You can append -là or more rarely -ci to a noun to emphasize the fact you are talking about it precisely, as opposite to other ones:

  1. Ce costume n'est pas à sa taille. : This suit doesn't fit him.

  2. Ce costume-là n'est pas à sa taille. : That one (suit) doesn't fit him (but other ones possibly do).

See also: Celui-ci / Celui-là / Ceci what's the difference between them?

  • So even if we removed là from the second sentence it'll remain grammatically correct? Apr 16 at 11:59
  • Sure, removing "-là" makes it identical to the first one.
    – jlliagre
    Apr 16 at 12:09

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