Demonstratives (Pronouns and Adjectives)


Demonstratives (Pronouns and Adjectives)

The word demonstrate means to show something or prove something. It means to indicate something, whether it is near or far, and distinguishing it from other entities. Demonstratives are words such as this, that which are used to direct us to some particular entity. The meaning of such words depends on the frame of reference. They can’t be meaningful without any particular content.

Demonstrative words include demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives. When it comes to demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives, People often get confused between them because very similar words are used as pronouns and as well as adjectives.

  • this, that, these, those

This – refers to singular nouns which are nearby

That – refers to singular nouns which are further away

These – refer to plural nouns which are nearby

Those – refer to plural nouns that are further away.

But the significant difference among demonstrative pronouns and adjectives is their construction. However, many learners find it the same, but when you dive deeper, you will find a huge difference between them. 

Let’s study demonstrative pronouns and adjectives thoroughly.

Demonstrative pronouns:

Demonstrative pronouns refer to the words that stand in place of a noun and point out something specific. They stand on their own. Demonstrative pronouns are the same as demonstrative adjectives. The difference among them is sentence structure.

Structure:    demonstrative pronoun + is/are+ complement.



  • This:

The fish I am cooking is my favorite --> this is my favorite.

The exercise we are doing hurts --> this hurts.


  • That:

The shirt he is wearing is my favorite. --> that is my favorite. 

The apple on the tree is rotten. --> that is rotten.


  • Those:

The cats giving birth under our table are gross-->those are gross.

The chairs in her house are antique--> those are antiques.


  • These

The books are great--> these are great.

John, harry, and Alexa are my friends-->these are my friends.


 General examples:

  • This is a chair.
  • That is a car.
  • That is old
  • Those are clever.
  • Those are apples.
  • I forgot about that at my home.
  • These are my bangles.
  • This is a fan.
  • That is a flower.
  • These are phones.
  • Those are chairs.

Demonstrative adjectives:

As mentioned earlier, demonstrative adjectives have two singular and two plural forms. Demonstrative adjectives are used to modify a noun. Unlike demonstrative pronouns, they do not replace the noun. Demonstrative adjectives come before the noun.

They are used to explain the nouns or noun you are talking about, which  are either near or far away from you. Either they are singular or plural.

  • This and these are used to demonstrate the noun or nouns which are close to us.
  • That and those are used to demonstrate the noun or nouns which are away from us.

Structure:    demonstrative adjective + noun + is/are+ complement.




This is a beautiful house – this house is beautiful. 

This is my book- this book is mine.


That is Ali’s car- this car is Ali’s.

That is an old house- that house is old.


These are Zainab’s balls- these balls are Zainab’s.

These are rotten eggs- these eggs are rotten.


Those are beautiful birds- those birds are beautiful.

Those are gorgeous marbles- those marbles are gorgeous.


General example:

  • Is that book yours?
  • That car is expensive.
  • This bag is mine.
  • This chair is broken.
  • That girl is disgusting.
  • These girls are hardworking.
  • These tables are made of glass.
  • Those pets are Sara’s.
  • These boots smell so bad.
  • Why don’t you forget that incident?
  • Can you lend me your pen this moment?


Find demonstrative adjectives in these sentences.

I want these shoes.

She loves that guy.

These books are worth reading.

One of my favorite sweets is those pastries.

I had never seen these insects before.

He never wanted this bag.

Fill the correct demonstrative.

_____ is my car in the parking.

Are _____   your shoes?

Do you see ___ insects over there?

___ was such an amazing.

_____ bat is old.

Please give me  ___ pen.

Bottom line:

So you got to know the difference between a demonstrative pronoun, and demonstrative adjectives. Demonstrative pronouns are words that replace the noun, and demonstrative adjectives are words that modify the noun. 

Demonstratives are mostly used in spoken English, but you can use them in written English too if your context has a clear noun to which the demonstrative pronoun or adjective refers.


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