I read a book about French anaphora. In French, there is a distinction between the definite article "le" and the demonstrative "ce", and I wonder if the same usage also applies to English.
Which word would native English speakers choose in the example sentences below?

John is talking to his wife about a woman he saw at a cafe yesterday.
John: "A woman entered the cafe and sat at the back of the room."
a. "I had already seen the/that/this woman near my house a few days ago."
b. "In fact, the/that/this woman always orders lemonade."
c. "I don't like the/that/this woman very much, because she is too talkative."

The book says, in the same cases above, French people use "ce" instead of "le". I don't think it's true of English, but I'm not sure as I'm not a native speaker.

  • 1
    All of them are natural and grammatical. There are slight connotation differences, but it's hard to explain, haha. The difference between this vs that is most apparent when there are two things being compared Mar 1 at 15:36
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is a question about the grammar and a usage of a specific language (English) and instead belongs in either the English or ELL sites.
    – Tristan
    Mar 1 at 16:16
  • @Tristan It's not about grammar really. It's about deixis, which can be linguistics.
    – Lambie
    Mar 1 at 16:47
  • @Lambie it's specifically about the usage in English
    – Tristan
    Mar 1 at 21:27
  • @Tristan So, if it is about Hindi, Telugu, German and I-dunno-what-all, it's okay? Tons of linguistics questions on this site are about English. For me, this would just be one more., I consider that it goes beyond the purview of simple grammar. Deixis and performatives. Though not performative here.
    – Lambie
    Mar 1 at 22:23


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