May 24, 2023, Comment off

Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives

Demonstrative words show a specific person, place, thing, or idea. They stand in for a noun and even introduce a clause.

Demonstrative adjectives come with a noun to state its location, distance, or time. For example: “This is mine.” The demonstrative pronounThis‘ identifies a specific nearby item.’ Similarly, “I need that pen” means a specific pen is wanted.

Using demonstrative adjectives requires figuring out if the object is near or far. We use different forms: this/that (singular) and these/those (plural). “This pizza tastes great” has ‘this‘ because it’s close, but “That plane flying above us flies too high” is far away.

The ‘this’ and ‘that’ pronouns have different functions. This and these go before nouns without a comma. “These are good breaks” shows multiple items close by. This makes them Indefinite Articles.

Examples of Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives are a set of words used to point out specific people, places or things. Here are some examples of these critical language elements:

  • This: refers to something near the speaker
  • That: refers to something far from the speaker
  • These: refers to the things near the speaker
  • Those: refers to the things far from the speaker
  • Such: emphasizes something or someone, often used to show the extent or degree of things
  • Same: used to refer to something that has already been mentioned

In addition to their demonstrative function, these pronouns and adjectives can also function as determiners depending on the context. Demonstratives are commonly used in sentences to replace or modify nouns. Demonstrative Adjectives always come before the nouns that they modify, whereas Demonstrative Pronouns function as standalone words, independent of any noun.

It is worth noting that Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives can have different meanings and uses in different languages. However, in English, they are used to clarify the specifics of an entity’s location and identity.

Use of “This” for Singular Objects Close to the Speaker

Referring to single objects close by? Use a demonstrative pronoun, like “this.” It shows the exact object, avoiding confusion. For example, if a person holds an apple and says, “I’m eating this,” it’s obvious which apple. But, using “this” for bigger items or unclear references could cause ambiguity.

These pronouns make communication simpler by identifying specific objects: “this” for those near the speaker; “that” for distant ones. “These” and “those” point to multiple objects close by. They can also replace noun phrases mentioned earlier.

Context and proximity decide which pronoun to use. Make sure your audience knows the reference without doubt.

Use of “That” for Singular Objects Far from the Speaker

Demonstrative pronouns like “that” are useful for referring to faraway objects. They show the thing isn’t close to the speaker. For instance, if you’re at a museum pointing to an exhibit across the room, you can say “that painting” instead of using a long description. “That” stands in for any noun you see but can’t touch right away.

Using these pronouns makes sentences concise and clear, reducing redundancy. It also establishes the distance between the speaker and the thing discussed. In some contexts, though, like a hallway or elevator, these pronouns may not be necessary. But for long-range communication, they can help convey thoughts effectively.

Use of “These” for Plural Objects Close to the Speaker

When we talk about several objects nearby, we use “these” as a demonstrative pronoun. This shows that the objects are close and familiar. “These” is used with plural nouns, distinct from “this,” which refers to one object. We can use “these” to express possession, such as: “These cookies are my favorite.”

It’s worth noting that how we use demonstrative pronouns can change depending on the context and where we are. Some dialects prefer “those” over “these,” depending on the distance and perception. But for objects close and in sight, “these” is usually the way to go!

One noteworthy fact is that some languages possess more than one demonstrative pronoun to tell the difference between near and far objects or singular and plural objects. Others don’t have any at all. It’s amazing to think about how language has evolved over time.

Demonstrative pronouns had a huge role in the development of modern language. Humans worked to create and perfect these linguistic tools to differentiate between objects based on distance, quantity, and ownership. They remain important in communication across cultures today.

Use of “Those” for Plural Objects Far from the Speaker

When something is far away, use ‘those’ – a demonstrative pronoun. It points to something without naming it. That way, you can avoid phrases like “the objects in the distance”. This creates a smoother sentence structure. Plus, it gets rid of repetition and keeps the conversation succinct.

To understand what is being mentioned, these pronouns need to be used precisely. In casual conversations, leaving out demonstrative pronouns is fine. But they’re important in formal settings like lectures or speeches.

Examples of Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative Adjectives – Usage and Examples

Demonstrative adjectives are a type of adjective that identifies or points to a specific noun or pronoun. It helps in distinguishing one person or thing from another. Here are some examples of demonstrative adjectives:

  • This car is fast.
  • That boy is tall.
  • These flowers are beautiful.
  • Those shoes are expensive.
  • Such behavior is not acceptable.

Demonstrative adjectives can also be used to answer questions like ‘Which one?‘ or ‘What kind?‘ For instance, ‘This book is mine’ can answer the question ‘Which book is yours?

When using demonstrative adjectives, it is important to keep in mind the distance between the speaker and the noun or pronoun being identified. ‘This‘ and ‘these‘ are used to refer to people or things that are close to the speaker or the person being addressed. Conversely, ‘that‘ and ‘those‘ are used to refer to people or things that are far away from the speaker. ‘Such‘ is used to refer to people or things that are not present or visible.

Use of “This” to Modify a Singular Noun Close to the Speaker

When speaking of one thing near you, “this” is often used. It’s an easy way to make sure the listener knows what you’re referring to. Plus, it can emphasize certain qualities of the object, like “This delicious cookie” or “This stunning view.”

It’s not just for things close to you, though. “This” can also refer to something close to the listener.

Use of “That” to Modify a Singular Noun Far from the Speaker

When talking about a thing far away, we can use the demonstrative adjective “that“. It emphasizes its distance or remoteness. Instead of saying “the book”, say “that book” to show it’s not close. It can also show familiarity or importance in certain contexts. For example, “That mountain” may mean a significant landmark known to both parties.

Demonstrative adjectives can bring attention to specific aspects of an object or person. By using “that“, it distinguishes it from others and focuses solely on it. This helps with clear communication, especially in a confusing situation.

Be careful not to overuse these adjectives. Doing so can sound unnatural. Therefore, use them selectively and purposefully. This will help communication and avoid confusion.

Use of “These” to Modify a Plural Noun Close to the Speaker

When talking about things near you, you use the demonstrative adjective ‘these’. It shows how close they are. For instance, saying “These apples are fresh” means the apples near you.

Have a look at some examples of demonstrative adjectives:

  • This car is fast.”
  • That book is interesting.”
  • These shoes are comfortable.”
  • Those flowers smell lovely.”

It’s important to remember that demonstrative adjectives must match the noun they describe. In other words, they need to agree in number and gender.

In English, there are lots of types of adjectives. Demonstrative adjectives point out special details about an object. Used correctly, they make it clear which item is being referred to.

Use of “Those” to Modify a Plural Noun Far from the Speaker

When speaking of a plural noun that’s not near us, we can use “those” as an adjective for demonstration. This helps clarify which group of people or objects is being indicated.

For example:

  • Those cats
  • Those cars
  • Those houses

It’s key to use singular pronouns when referring to singular nouns, and plural pronouns when referring to plural nouns.

When using “those,” it’s important to remember that it should only be used when the thing being referred to is visible. Plus, the noun should be far away from the speaker. This ensures clarity in communication.

Using demonstrative adjectives like “those” can improve communication. It helps the listener know what the speaker is talking about without needing to explain further.

Tips to Use Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives Correctly

It is essential to use Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives correctly. Here are tips to help you:

  • Familiarize yourself with the different kinds.
  • Use “this” and “these” for close things.
  • Use “that” and “those” for far away or absent items.
  • Be certain not to mix up singular and plural forms.
  • Be aware of the context in which you are using them.
  • Make your writing clear by staying consistent.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Using Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives

Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives are often misused, causing confusion. To steer clear of this, one should stick to some guidelines. Here are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Getting singular and plural forms muddled
  • Using ‘this’ where ‘that’ should be or vice versa
  • Using demonstratives incorrectly with prepositions
  • Putting the demonstrative pronoun or adjective in the wrong place
  • Repeating the same demonstrative over and over

It’s important to remember that the choice between ‘this’ and ‘that’ or ‘these’ and ‘those’ depends on the speaker’s perspective, not distance alone.


Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives are vital for clear communication. They make sure your message is conveyed accurately and without confusion. The type of word chosen depends on how close or far away the object is from the speaker. Understanding this can help you communicate better.

Want to learn more about English Grammar? Check our Quick Start Grammar Guide for everything you need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What are demonstrative pronouns and adjectives?

Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives are words that point out or indicate something specific. They are used to identify or refer to a noun that has already been mentioned or is understood from context.

2) What are some examples of demonstrative pronouns?

Examples of demonstrative pronouns include “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” For example, “This is my book,” or “Those are his shoes.”

3) What is the difference between a demonstrative pronoun and a demonstrative adjective?

A demonstrative pronoun stands alone as a noun substitute, while a demonstrative adjective modifies a noun. For example, “That is mine” uses “that” as a pronoun, while “That book is mine” uses “that” as an adjective.

4) How do we use demonstrative pronouns and adjectives in sentences?

Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives can be used to describe a noun in a sentence. For example, “This is my favorite shirt” or “These cookies are delicious.”

5) Can demonstrative pronouns and adjectives be used in any tense?

Yes, demonstrative pronouns and adjectives can be used in any tense, such as past, present, or future. For example, “That was a great party” or “This will be a nice vacation.”

6) What is the importance of using demonstrative pronouns and adjectives in English language?

Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives can be helpful in clarifying which object or person the speaker is referring to, and can prevent confusion or miscommunication in language.