Easy Learning Spanish

Demonstrative pronouns - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish

What is a demonstrative pronoun?
In English a demonstrative pronoun is one of the words this, that, these, and those used instead of a noun to point people or things out, for example, That looks fun.

1   Using demonstrative pronouns

  • These are the demonstrative pronouns in Spanish:
MasculineFeminineNeuterMeaning
Singulareste
ese
aquel
esta
esa
aquella
esto
eso
aquello
this, this one
that, that one (close by)
that, that one (further away)
Pluralestos
esos
aquellos
estas
esas
aquellas
these, these ones
those, those ones (close by)
those, those ones (further away)
  • The demonstrative pronouns in Spanish have to agree with the noun that they are replacing.
¿Qué abrigo te gusta más? – Este de aquí.Which coat do you like best? – This one here.
Aquella casa era más grande que esta.That house was bigger than this one.
estos libros y aquellosthese books and those (over there)
Quiero estas sandalias y esas.I’d like these sandals and those ones.

2   ¿ese or aquel?

  • In English we use that and those to talk about anything that is not close by. In Spanish, you need to be a bit more precise.
  • Use ese/esa and so on to indicate things and people that are nearer to the person you’re talking to than to you.
Me gusta más ese que tienes en la mano.I prefer the one you’ve got in your hand.
  • Use ese/esa and so on to indicate things and people that aren’t very far away.
Si quieres ver una película, podemos ir a esa que dijiste.If you want to see a film, we can go and see that one you mentioned.
  • Use aquel/aquella and so on to talk about things that are further away.
Aquella al fondo de la calle es mi casa.My house is that one at the end of the street.
  • The masculine and feminine forms of demonstrative pronouns sometimes have an accent, to distinguish them from demonstrative adjectives:
éste/éstathis oneéstos/éstasthese ones
ése/ésathat oneésos/ésasthose ones
aquél/aquéllathat oneaquéllos/aquéllasthose ones
  • The neuter forms (esto, eso, aquello) are used to talk about an object you don’t recognize or about an idea or statement.
¿Qué es eso que llevas en la mano?What’s that you’ve got in your hand?
No puedo creer que esto me esté pasando a mí.I can’t believe this is really happening to me.
Aquello sí que me gustó.I really did like that.
  • Note that the neuter forms of demonstrative pronouns NEVER have an accent.
Key points
  • Spanish demonstrative pronouns agree with the noun they are replacing.
  • Masculine and feminine demonstrative pronouns sometimes have an accent on them in both the singular and the plural.
  • In Spanish you have to choose the correct pronoun to emphasize the difference between something that is close to you and something that is further away:
  • este/esta/estos and estas (meaning this/these) are used to indicate things and people that are very close.
  • ese/esa/esos and esas (meaning that/those) are used to indicate things and people that are near the person you are talking to or that aren’t too far away.
  • aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas (meaning that/those) are used to indicate things and people that are further away.
  • The neuter pronouns (esto, eso and aquello) are used to talk about things you don’t recognize or to refer to statements or ideas. They NEVER have an accent.

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