Demonstrative Pronouns

What are Demonstrative Pronouns ?

Demonstrative Pronouns – They are used to point out (or introduce) the items to which they refer.

‘demonstrare’ is a Latin word that means - to show clearly.

E.g. this, these, that, those.

Some other words can also sometimes function as Demonstrative Pronouns → such, other, another, so

This is a great example of modern art.
These are mere hindrances in your path to success.
That is the Taj Mahal.

this, these, that, those, such etc. can also function as (Demonstrative) adjectives, when they are used with nouns.

This puppy is mine. (This - demonstrative adjective; puppy - noun)
This is mine. (This - demonstrative pronoun)

That puppy is hers. (That - demonstrative adjective; puppy - noun)
That is hers. (That - demonstrative pronoun)

These puppies are mine. (These - demonstrative adjective; puppies - noun)
These are mine. (These - demonstrative pronoun)

Those puppies are hers. (Those - demonstrative adjective; puppies - noun)
Those are hers. (Those - demonstrative pronoun)

This and These

‘This’ is singular and so it is used for a singular object/person that is placed closer.

‘These’ is plural and is used for more than one object/person that are placed closer.

This is a dog. (dog – singular noun, so we used this)
These are dogs. (dogs – plural noun, so we used these)

That and Those

‘That’ is singular and is used for a distant thing/person.

‘Those’ is plural and is used for more than one distant thing/person.

That is a boat. (boat – singular noun, so we used that)
Those are boats. (boats – plural noun, so we used those)

  • ‘that’ and ‘those’ are used to avoid the repetition of a preceding noun.

    The climate of New Zealand is like that of Ireland.
    Indian soldiers are better trained than those of China.

This/These versus That/Those

Concept 1

this/these refers to something that is close and that/those refers to something that is farther away.

This is more colourful than that.

Concept 2

When we refer to two things, which have been already mentioned:

  • ‘this/these’ refers to the thing(s) mentioned in the last, and
  • ‘that/those’ to the thing(s) mentioned first.

Alcohol and LSD are both injurious to health; this perhaps, more than that. (i.e. LSD is more injurious than alcohol)

Share on: