Demonstrative Pronouns

demonstrative pronouns

What Are Demonstrative Pronouns?

These are mine.

That is my car.

I want this.

Demonstrative pronouns are pronouns that are used to point to something. Like other pronouns, they take the place of a noun and can be used to clearly express exactly which thing we are talking about.

I don’t want that I want this.

There are 4 of these pronouns in total and the one we use is dependent on: –

  1. how close the object/s is to us.
  2. how many objects there are.


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Close to the speaker

Far from the speaker

Singular

this

that

Plural

these

those


Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative adjectives are similar to demonstrative pronouns but can’t stand alone in a sentence (they need a noun).

These are nice. (demonstrative pronoun)

These shoes are nice. (demonstrative adjective + noun)


Time

With regards to time, we usually use distance to separate our demonstratives depending on how close to the present something is.

I still remember my birthday all those years ago. That was a good day.

Today is my birthday. This is my favourite day of the year.

Next year will be my 18th birthday. That will be my biggest birthday party yet.


This / These Pronunciation

The pronunciation for “this” and “these” are very similar so be careful when you say them. “this” has a voiceless /s/ ending and an /ɪ/ vowel. “these” has a voiced /z/ ending and an /iː/ vowel.

this = /ðɪs/ 


these = /ðiːz/


Listen to the two of them together.


This / These Pronunciation Practice

Practise your pronunciation of “this” / “these” with the list below: –

  • this shoe / these shoes
  • this cat / these cats
  • this phone / these phones
  • this plant / these plants
  • this pen / these pens
  • this person / these people
  • this sheep / these sheep
  • this child / these children
  • this fish / these fish
  • this man / these men


Demonstrative Pronouns Quiz

See what you can remember with the quiz below!

What is a demonstrative pronoun?
What are the 4 demonstrative pronouns?
What are the demonstrative pronouns NOT dependent on.
What is a demonstrative adjective?
... is my new coat. (pointing to a coat the speaker is wearing)
... car over there looks nice. (pointing to a car on the other side of the street)
Should I wear ... shoes tonight? (pointing to shoes the speaker is wearing)
I will ask ... people for directions. (pointing to a group of people in the distance)
I can't remember, ... happened a long time ago. (talking about an event in the past)
Which of ... things should I take with me? (pointing at things close to the speaker)
Complete the form below to see results
Demonstrative Pronouns
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