Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 
Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns

This lesson isn't real exciting, but it is pretty easy!

This topic is about adjectives that tell you which one the speaker is talking about.  These adjectives describe the particular item being disscussed.  For example, when discussing "the shirt", are you talking about this shirt that I have, that shirt that you have, or that shirt over there away from both of us?  By using the correct adjective, you will demonstrate which one you are talking about.  Obviously there are pronouns for these also, and they are pretty easy, too.

Let's start with the adjectives.  They are broken down into three categories, as follows.
 
 

Description
English
Spanish
  • item is near the speaker
this/these
este, esta, estos, estas
  • item is near the listener
that/those
ese, esa, esos, esas
  • item is near neither the speaker nor the listener
that/those
aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas

What makes this so different from the English?  Just a couple of things.  First of all you will notice that there are four forms of each, so the adjective must agree in number and gender with the noun it accompanies- "esta [esa,aquella] camisa", "este [ese,aquel] libro", "estos [esos, aquellos] caballos", "estas [esas, aquellas] personas".  Secondly, you will see that there are two "that/those" categories.  I hope the above chart is self-explanatory.  Basically "aquel [aquella, etc.]" refers to "that-over there".  Another interesting point:  Since these are limiting adjectives- they tell which one- they preceed the noun.  (See the page on the position of adjectives.)

Now come the PRONOUNS.  What's a pronoun?  It is a word that replaces a noun.  Let's look at an example of what a demonstrative pronoun is.  Imagine your are at the mall looking for a new outfit to wear.  You are with your best friend, whose opinion you trust greatly.  You have two pairs of shoes, and you ask, "Do you like these shoes  [in your right hand] or these [in your left hand]?"  You obviously used an adjective when describing "these shoes [in your right hand]", but you also used a pronoun when describing the pair in your left hand- "these".  To express these in Spanish, all you have to do is place a written accent on the stressed syllable.  Look at the chart
 

Description
English
Spanish
  • item is near the speaker
this one/these
éste, ésta, éstos, éstas
  • item is near the listener
that one/those
ése, ésa, ésos, ésas
  • item is near neither the speaker nor the listener
that one/those over there
aquél, aquélla, aquéllos, aquéllas

Just for practice, imagine you are asking your friend to express her/his preferences.  Fill-in the blank with the appropriate demonstrative pronoun for this one or these- based on the noun they are replacing.
 


Of course, these pronouns may be refering to an idea, subject, unidentified thing, or matter- and not to a specific thing.  Huh?

You walk into a room and see a mess.  You ask, ¿Qué es esto? What is this?
Your friend shows you a sculpture he made.  He's not very good.  You ask, ¿Qué es eso? What is that?
Your friend suggests that you all go to the movies.  You respond, ¡Eso es una idea magnífica! That's a great idea!

In this case, the pronouns take the neuter form, and have no accent.  (They have no corresponding adjective, so therefore need no accent to distinguish themselves.)

¡Vamos a practicar!

Now it's time for you to do some practices.  Go to StudySpanish.com and do the practice activities (they're pretty good for this lesson) and then take the test.  Send me your results.