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I remember seeing in an exercise in a French course book the expression "Ça c'est mon portable". That has led me to believe that whenever I wanted to say "This is..." I should use "Ça c'est...". However, when reading other books and watching movies I've seen several instances where a character would simply say "C'est..." to mean "This is...".

What is "Ça c'est" used for? Does it translate directly into "That, it's..."?

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Ça is used to emphasize whatever ce represents.

1

C'est mon portable.

I simply designate my mobile phone.

2

Ça, c'est mon portable

(please note the coma after ça)

I emphasize that the object (I'm probably pointing at it while I say that) I'm talking about is not my book but my mobile, or that it is not someone else's mobile, but mine.

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