A Guide to Understanding Demonstrative Pronouns and Their Usage

A Guide to Understanding Demonstrative Pronouns
The English language has four demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, and those. Let us learn all about the demonstrative pronouns.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Demonstrative Pronoun Vs. Demonstrative Adjective
A demonstrative pronoun and a demonstrative adjective can be easily confused, since they are the same. A quick tip―a demonstrative pronoun replaces the noun, whereas a demonstrative adjective appears before the noun.
Pronouns are the words that replace a noun in a sentence. For example, "The Smiths have a daughter named Mary. She is 2 years old." In this example, the noun 'Mary' was replaced by the pronoun 'she', thus avoiding the repetition of the noun being talked about. Pronouns, therefore, ease the flow of the language, and help us avoid the repetition of nouns.

Pronouns are classified into personal, reflexive, intensive, reciprocal, relative, interrogative, possessive, indefinite, and demonstrative pronouns. Demonstrative pronouns are basically used to point at the person, place, or thing, that is being talked about in the sentence.

Example:
Original Sentence:
The dress you are wearing is gorgeous.

Usage of Demonstrative Pronoun:
This is a gorgeous dress.
Demonstrative Pronouns in English
There are four demonstrative pronouns in the English language. They are:
  • This - used to replace the noun which is singular, and near the speaker.
  • That - used to replace the noun which is singular, but far from the speaker.
  • These - used to replace the noun which is plural, and near the speaker.
  • Those - used to replace the noun which is plural, but far from the speaker.
Demonstrative pronouns are called so, because they are always used in the day-to-day speech, along with demonstration; for example, a hand gesture or pointing a finger. Their function is to indicate whether they are to replace a singular or plural noun in the sentence. They act as subjects, objects, or objects of preposition in a sentence.
Usage of Demonstrative Pronouns in Sentences
Demonstrative Pronouns
» I'll buy those.
» This is beautiful.
» Those will be mine.
» That belongs to me.
» Is that true?
» Are these fresh?
» That is ridiculous.
» This is quite interesting.

» This is Emily speaking.
» That sounds boring.
» Can you mail this to me?
» Would you like that?
» My mother chose these for me.
» I purchased these.
» This is the girl I was talking about.
» That sounds like Anne.
» Those will work.
» Is that John?
Demonstrative Pronouns in French
  • Masculine, singular: celui (simple), celui-ci/celui-là (compound)
  • Masculine, plural: ceux (simple), ceux-ci/ceux-là (compound)
  • Feminine, singular: celle (simple), celle-ci/celle-là (compound)
  • Feminine, plural: celles (simple), celles-ci/celles-là (compound)
Demonstrative Pronouns in Italian
  • Masculine, singular (near): questo
  • Masculine, plural (near): questi
  • Feminine, singular (near): questa
  • Feminine, singular (near): queste
  • Masculine, singular (far): quello
  • Masculine, plural (far): quelll
  • Feminine, singular (far): quella
  • Feminine, singular (far): quelle
Demonstrative Pronouns in German
  • Nominative Case: dieser (masculine), diese (feminine), dieses (neuter), diese (plural)
  • Accusative Case: diesen (masculine), diese (feminine), dieses (neuter), diese (plural)
  • Dative Case: diesem (masculine), dieser (feminine), diesem (neuter), diesen (plural)
  • Genitive Case: dieses (masculine), dieser (feminine), dieses (neuter), dieser (plural)