What are Demonstrative Pronouns
A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that is used to replace a specific person or thing that has been previously mentioned or is understood from the context. It is used to point out something specific within a sentence. This, that, these and those are the four demonstrative pronouns in English. They can refer to things in space or time, and they can be either singular or plural.
This: indicates a singular item, near in time or distance
Have you seen this?
Look at this.
These: indicates plural items, near in time or distance
These are bad times.
These belong to my sister.
That: indicates a singular item, far in time or distance
That was shocking news.
That proved to be an utter lie.
Those: indicates plural items, far in time or distance
Those were the days!
Please give me one of those.
The following section will explain that demonstrative pronouns replace nouns and noun phrases.
Chocolate Cupcakes are my favorite. These are my favorites.
The song you are singing is my favorite song. That is my favorite song.
The food you’re cooking smells delicious. – That smells delicious.
Your shoes are very smelly. – These are very smelly.
The green coat there costs too much. – That costs too much.
The daisies here look better than the roses there. These look better than those.
Demonstrative Pronouns can be a tricky part in grammar as many people associate this, these, that and those with demonstrative adjectives.
Demonstrative Pronouns vs Demonstrative Adjectives
As mentioned above, identifying the difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns can prove to be a bit tricky. This is because the four demonstrative pronouns this, these, that and those also act as demonstrative adjectives. The main difference between demonstrative adjectives and pronouns is that demonstrative adjectives are always followed by a noun since their function is to modify nouns. But demonstrative pronouns stand alone in a sentence.
If you observe the following examples carefully, you’ll be able to understand the difference between demonstrative adjectives and pronouns.
These socks are smelly. → These are smelly.
She really likes this dress.→ She really likes this.
These decorations look perfect. → These look perfect.
Demonstrative Pronouns – Summary
- Demonstrative Pronouns are pronouns that help to identify specific things.
- Demonstrative Pronouns stand alone; they are not followed by a noun or a noun phrase.
- They can refer to things in distance or time; they can also be singular or plural.
- There are demonstrative pronouns in English. They are This, These, That and Those.
- This and that replace singular nouns whereas these and those replace plural nouns.
- Demonstrative Pronouns should not be confused with demonstrative adjectives.