Last time, as you might recall—unless you were too busy enjoying a potato, we looked at personal pronouns.
Today, we’ll look at demonstrative pronouns.
In simple terms, a demonstrative pronoun represents a thing or things:
- near in distance or time (this, these)
- far in distance or time (that, those)
This and that are singular; these and those are plural.
Here is a very useful chart, from our friends at Woodward English.
Here are some examples that illustrate how demonstrative pronouns are used:
- These (over here) are more comfortable than those (over there).
- This (over here) is not as sweet as that (over there).
- That (over there) is truly beautiful. It is much nicer than these (over here).
- Can you tell me why you think that (over there) is better than any of these (over here)?
- Those (back then) were the days!
- These (over here) are the best I’ve seen all day.
- Have you read this (the thing I’m pointing at or holding up)?
- This (the one I’m reading now, or the one I’m pointing at) is my favorite chapter.
Do not get demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives mixed up. They are not the same. As you’ve seen, demonstrative pronouns stand and act on their own. Demonstrative adjectives modify nouns.
Here is the difference between demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives:
- That is awful. (demonstrative pronoun)
- That song is terrific. (demonstrative adjective + noun)
Normally, we use demonstrative pronouns for things only. But we can use them for people when the person is identified. We can see this in action in the following examples:
- This is Henry speaking. Is that Peter?
- That sounds like Nan.
This concludes this article. (That used both a demonstrative pronoun and a demonstrative adjective.)
Until next time.