Spanish Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns


Spanish demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns describe how far something or someone is from the speaker. They refer to a physical or temporal distance. Demonstrative adjectives come before a noun, while demonstrative pronouns replace it. They can be translated as ‘this’, ‘these, ‘that’ and ‘those’.

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Demonstrative adjectives are there to show you the space between you and an object, and identify the noun. Demonstrative adjectives are placed before the noun; while demonstrative pronouns replace the noun. The English translation is: This, These, That, Those.

The difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns, is that demonstrative adjectives specify information, while demonstrative pronouns are used in a context where the speaker already knows what they are talking about. There is no need to repeat the information.

Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns must match in gender and number, and are used quite often in regular conversation. You will need to know them to show the location of something you are talking about.

The following chart will show you what pronoun you will use depending on how far from you the object is located.

Short distance                    Medium distance                  Far distance
Masc-Sing.Este- This one          Ese –That oneaquel- That one over there
Masc Plur.  Estos-These  Esos- Thoseaquellos- Those over there
Fem Sing.Esta- This one                      Esa-That one              aquella- That one over there
Fem Plur.Estas TheseEsas- Those            aquellas- Those over there

Me gustan estos zapatos que traigo – I love these shoes I am wearing.

Voy a comprar esos zapatos que están allá I am going to buy those shoes over there.

Las pinturas en aquel estante son muy bellas. The paintings on those shelves are very pretty.

Este and Esos are demonstrative pronouns and look similar to demonstrative adjectives, but demonstrative pronouns replace the noun in the sentence. Demonstrative pronouns were always written with an accent éstos,éstas, ésos,ésas, and you may see them written that way, however it is not required anymore.

Mi carro es más bonito que éste. My car is prettier than this one.

Yo quiero comprar ese carro. I want to buy that car.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.