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Demonstrative Pronouns

demonstrate (verb): to show; to indicate; to point to

A demonstrative pronoun represents a thing or things:

  • near in distance or time (this, these)
  • far in distance or time (that, those)
  near far
singular this that
plural these those

Here are some examples with demonstrative pronouns, followed by an illustration:

  • This tastes good.
  • Have you seen this?
  • These are bad times.
  • Do you like these?

  • That is beautiful.
  • Look at that!
  • Those were the days!
  • Can you see those?

  • This is heavier than that.
  • These are bigger than those.

this that these those

Do not confuse demonstrative pronouns with demonstrative adjectives. They are identical, but a demonstrative pronoun stands alone, while a demonstrative adjective qualifies a noun.

  • That smells. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • That book is good. (demonstrative adjective + noun)

Normally we use demonstrative pronouns for things only. But we can use them for people when the person is identified. Look at these examples:

  • This is Josef speaking. Is that Mary?
  • That sounds like John.

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