What is a demonstrative pronoun?
Demonstrative pronouns - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish
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:
|this, this one|
that, that one (close by)
that, that one (further away)
|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 aquellos||these 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/ésta||this one||éstos/éstas||these ones|
|ése/ésa||that one||ésos/ésas||those ones|
|aquél/aquélla||that one||aquéllos/aquéllas||those ones|
- For more information on Demonstrative adjectives, see Demonstrative adjectives.
- 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.
- 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.