Demonstrative adjectives are one of the lesser-known examples of an adjective but they are still widely used in everyday speech in the English language. Most people don’t even realize that they’re using them when they do say them in a sentence, as it isn’t often taught to native English speakers. However, once you understand what defines demonstrative adjectives, you’ll have a much better understanding of how they work and when they should be used.
What Are Demonstrative Adjectives?
Demonstrative adjectives are used as a way to indicate which person or object you are referring to when they are used in a sentence. There are actually only four demonstrative adjectives in the English language, and each one is used in a different way to demonstrate what you’re talking about. They can either refer to the singular or plural and can be in relation to something near or far away.
Since there are only four, it’s really easy to understand which one should be used when and once we include some examples you’ll see for yourself just how easy it is to use a demonstrative adjective effectively in a sentence.
How to Use Demonstrative Adjectives?
They’re very easy to use once you understand what they are. The four demonstrative adjectives are: “this”, “that”, “these”, and “those”. Each one refers to an object in a different state.
- “This” is used to refer to an object that is close (often in the speaker’s hand or in the same room). It is also used to refer to something that is in the singular, meaning that there is only one object or person that the speaker is talking about.
- “That” is used in the same way as this, but in relation to something much further away from the speaker. It is usually not in the same room or over in the distance when they’re referring to it. However, it is still in the singular form.
- “These” is the plural form of “this” and is used to refer to a group of objects or people that are close to the speaker.
- “Those” is the plural form of “that” and is used to refer to a group of objects or people that are far away from the speaker.
Examples of Demonstrative Adjectives
- This apple
- This pear
- This person
- This girl
- Where can I get this? (Usually holding an item you want)
- What is this? (Again, holding on to something that you’re enquiring about)
- Who is this? (Addressing someone directly, either on the phone or on text)
- This is the way (The speaker is close to the path when they say it)
- That apple
- That pear
- That person
- That girl
- Where can I get that? (Usually, an object is being pointed to when this is asked)
- What is that? (Again, something is usually further away from the speaker for this question)
- Who is that? (When asking who someone is across a room or outside that you’re not directly speaking to)
- That is the way (Directing your attention to a path that you’re not currently close to or walking on)
- These apples
- These pears
- These people
- These girls
- Where can I get these?
- What are these?
- Those apples
- Those pears
- Those people
- Those girls
- Where can I get those?
- What are those?