Easy Learning Spanish

Demonstrative adjectives - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish

What is a demonstrative adjective?
A demonstrative adjective is one of the words this, that, these and those used with a noun in English to point out a particular thing or person, for example, this woman, that dog.

1   Using demonstrative adjectives

  • Just as in English, Spanish demonstrative adjectives go BEFORE the noun. Like other adjectives in Spanish, they have to change for the feminine and plural forms.
MasculineFeminineMeaning
Singulareste
ese
aquel
esta
esa
aquella
this
that (close by)
that (further away)
Pluralestos
esos
aquellos
estas
esas
aquellas
these
those (close by)
those (further away)
  • Use este/esta/estos/estas (meaning this/these) to talk about things and people that are near you.
Este bolígrafo no escribe.This pen isn’t working.
Me he comprado estos libros.I’ve bought these books.
  • Use ese/esa/esos/esas and aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas (meaning that/those) to talk about things that are further away.
Esa revista es muy mala.That magazine is very bad.
¿Conoces a esos señores?Do you know those gentlemen?
No le gusta aquella muñeca.She doesn’t like that doll.
Siga usted hasta aquellos árboles.Carry on until you reach those trees (over there).

2   ese or aquel?

  • In English we use that and those to talk about anything that is not close by, but in Spanish you need to be a bit more precise.
  • Use ese/esa/esos/esas:
  • to talk about things and people that are nearer to the person you are talking to than to you
ese papel en el que escribesthat paper you’re writing on
¿Por qué te has puesto esas medias?Why are you wearing those tights?
  • to talk about things and people that aren’t very far away
No me gustan esos cuadros.I don’t like those pictures.
  • Use aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas to talk about things that are further away
Me gusta más aquella mesa.I prefer that table (over there).
Grammar Extra!You should use ese/esa/esos/esas when you are talking about a definite date, month or year.
¿1999? No me acuerdo de dónde pasamos las vacaciones ese año.1999? I can’t remember where we went on holiday that year.
You should use aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas when you are talking about something in the past and not mentioning a definite date.
aquellas vacaciones que pasamos en Franciathose holidays we had in France
Key points
  • this + noun = este/esta + noun
  • these + noun = estos/estas + noun
  • that + noun = ese/esa + noun (when the object is not far away from you or the person you’re talking to)
  • that + noun = aquel/aquella + noun (when the object is more distant)
  • those + noun = esos/esas + noun (when the objects are not far away from you or the person you’re talking to)
  • those + noun = aquellos/aquellas + noun (when the objects are more distant)

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