Demonstratives – This, That, These, Those! Demonstratives are words, such as this and that, used to indicate which entities are being referred to and to distinguish those entities from others.
In the sentence:
‘This is my brother’,
‘this‘ is a demonstrative
The demonstratives in English are this, that, these, and those
Demonstrative Pronouns vs Demonstrative Adjectives
A demonstrative adjective modifies a noun:
- Example: This apple is good. I like those houses. (This modifies ‘apple’ and those modifies ‘houses’)
A demonstrative pronoun stands on its own, replacing rather than modifying a noun:
- Example: This is good. I like those. (This and those don’t modify any nouns they stand alone and replace other nouns)
Use of Demonstratives
Demonstratives differ according to:
- Distance: near or far,
- Number: singular or plural.
Here are the main distinctions:
- “This” modifies or refers to singular nouns that are near to the speaker.
- “That” modifies or refers to singular nouns that are far from the speaker.
- “These” modifies or refers to plural nouns that are near to the speaker.
- “Those” modifies or refers to plural nouns that are far from the speaker.