Demonstrative Pronouns / Pronombres Demostrativos
The demonstrative pronouns can be used for both pointing and identifying a noun or something, and also to refer to the distance among “the thing”, the speaker and the listener. For example, in English, the demonstrative pronouns “this” and “these” refer to things that are close to the speaker while the pronouns“that” and “those” refer to things that are further away from the speaker, in space or time.In Spanish the demonstrative pronouns must agree in gender and number with the noun the pronoun is related to.
Demonstrative and Adjective Pronouns “this” and “these”
Used when something is close to the speaker. “This” means este /esta and “these” means estos / estas. Study the chart below:
|This||Masculine Singular||Feminine Singular|
|These||Masculine Plural||Feminine Plural|
- Este plato (this plate) / Estos platos (these plates) – (observe that “este” is singular / masculine and “estos” is plural / masculine)
- Esta mesa (this table) / Estas mesas (these tables) – (observe that “esta” is singular / feminine and “estas” is plural / feminine)
Demonstrative and Adjective Pronouns “that” and “those”
These demonstrative pronouns are used when something is far from the speaker but close to the listener. “That” means ese / esa and “those” means esos / esas. Study the chart below.
|That||Masculine Singular||Feminine Singular|
|Those||Masculine Plural||Feminine Plural|
- Ese libro (that book ) / Esos libros (those books) – (observe that “ese” is singular / masculine and “esos” is plural / masculine)
- Esa casa (that house) / Esas casas (those houses) – (observe that “esa” is singular / feminine and “esas” is plural / feminine)
Demonstrative and Adjective Pronouns “that” and “those” – An important observation
In Spanish you’ll find demonstrative pronouns to refer to things that are further away in space or time from both speaker and listener. Study the translation of them in the chart below:
|That one over there||Masculine Singular||Feminine Singular|
|Those over there||Masculine Plural||Feminine Plural|
- Aquel hombre (that man) / Aquellos hombres (those men) – (observe that “aquel” is singular / masculine and “aquellos” is plural / masculine)
- Aquella llave (that key) / Aquellas llaves (those keys) – (observe that “aquella” is singular / feminine and “aquellas” is plural / feminine)
Notes about the demonstrative pronouns
You can use Eso (this thing, this), Esto (that thing, that) and Aquello (that thing) – to express your opinion or ideas. You can also use them to point something, without saying the name of the thing. These demonstrative pronouns do not identify objects (they don’t accompany a noun) and they are used just in the singular form.
|This / This thing||Esto|
|That / That thing||Eso|
- ¿Qué es eso? What is that?
- ¿Qué es aquello? What is that thing (far from the speaker and the listener)?
- Esto no es bueno. This is not good