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Grammar Basics



Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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We use the demonstrative pronouns to indicate specific items in the same way that Demonstrative Adjectives do except that they replace the noun we are referring to.

Remember that the Demonstrative Adjectives point out specific nouns and include the nouns themselves. For example, we can point out one particular dog by saying "this dog" (close to me) or "that dog" (over by you). We include the word "dog" in the statement.

The Demonstrative Pronouns serve the same purpose as the Demonstrative adjectives in pointing out a specific noun, butT they replace the noun itself:

Instead of saying "I like this dog better that that dog," we can say "I like this dog better than that one." The phrase "that one" means "that dog", but by using the demonstrative pronoun we don't need to repeat the noun "dog". In English we often add the word "one" to demonstrative pronouns: I like this shirt, and that one, and those over there as well.

In Spanish we use the exact same form as the Demonstrative Adjectives, but add an accent mark to differentiate them from the adjectives. I like to think of it as changing the noun into an accent mark:

    • Prefiero esos zapatos -----> Prefiero √©sos [Those shoes ------> those (ones)]

If you zoom in close you will see:

Magnifying Glass

Here are the Demonstrative Pronouns

"This" and "These"



Masculine éste éstos
Feminine ésta éstas

"That" and "Those"



Masculine ése ésos
Feminine ésa ésas

"That one over there" and "Those ones over there"



Masculine aquél aquéllos
Feminine aquélla aquéllas
  • Just like the Demonstrative adjectives, the Demonstrative pronouns éste, ésta, éstos and éstas are used to indicate things which are physically close to the speaker. They correspond to the English "this one" or "these ones" and would be used under the same circumstances.
  • Ése, ésa, ésos and ésas are used to indicate things which are further away from the speaker (but not necessarily to the listeners), not within easy reaching distance. They correspond to the English "that one" or "those ones" and would be used under the same circumstances.
  • Aquél, aquélla, aquéllos and aquéllas are used to indicate things which are far away from both the speaker and the listeners, but within visual distance. They correspond to the English "that one (way) over there" or "those ones (way) over there" and would be used under the same circumstances.

Demontrative Adjectives

Demonstrative Pronouns

Este suéter This sweater Éste This one (refers to the sweater)
Estos suéteres These sweaters Éstos These (ones)
Ese suéter That sweater Ése That one
Esos suéteres Those sweaters Ésos Those (ones)
Aquel suéter That sweater over there Aquél That one over there
Aquellos suéteres Those sweaters over there
Those (ones) over there

Note: There are three nuetral forms (that is, forms without gender or plurality):

Esto, eso and aquello

They do not need an accent mark since there is no conflicting adjective form, nor do they represent specific nouns. They refer to ideas, concepts, situations or unidentified items.

  • ¿Qué es esto? What is this?! Why is my boyfriend Keanu in your kitchen?!
  • Keanu is now dating the French teacher! No me gusta eso. I don't like that!
  • ¿Qué es aquello? What the heck is that thing over there? I can't make it out.