What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?
One of the most common pronouns that we use daily is demonstrative pronoun. It is a pronoun that is used to point specific object, situation, or activity, within a sentence. These pronouns can specify the distance or time, and define either singular or plural.
There are four common demonstrative pronouns, they are this, that, these, and those. Each one represents the number (singular or plural) and the distance or time (near or far) of the noun.
- This: near in time and distance (singular)
- That: far in time and distance (singular)
- These: near in time and distance (plural)
- Those: far in time and distance (plural)
There is some confusion between a demonstrative pronoun and a demonstrative adjective since they both use the same words; the most common are this, that, these and those.
Basically, you can tell the difference between a demonstrative pronoun and a demonstrative adjective easily by identifying the structure. A demonstrative adjective modifies noun and is followed by noun, while a demonstrative pronoun replaces the entire noun and is standalone, so it’s not followed by the noun itself.
Defining a Demonstrative Pronouns
As we’ve learnt above that demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives have identical common words (this, that, these, and those) and can be recognized by identifying the structure. To make it clear for you, here are some examples of demonstrative pronouns that take place of the noun/noun phrase.
- The fried rice you’re cooking smells appetizing. –> This smells appetizing.
- The car that we reviewed last month was really expensive. –> That was really expensive.
- The grape slices on my ice cream taste good. –> These taste good.
- The house fly larvae in the dustbin outside our house are totally gross. –> Those are totally gross.
- What is the brown sauce on the top of my salad? –> What is this?
- What is the half ball shaped roof at the top of the building over there? –> What is that?
Demonstrative Pronouns Examples
The concept might seem a bit confusing at first because in the examples above, the demonstrative pronouns fully replace the noun and it makes we don’t know the context of the pronoun. However, they can be used to replace a noun as long as we can still understand the replaced noun from the pronoun’s context.
Let’s look at the following examples:
- This is a beautiful engagement ring.
- That looks like my old broken bicycle.
- These are nice shoes, but I don’t think they are comfortable.
- Those look bigger than the grapes at my front yard.
Besides the four common words (this, that, these, and those), there are also three other words of demonstrative pronouns, they are such, none, and neither. Here are the examples.
- I’ve read all your answer, but none is correct.
- I wish I could offer you some cookies but there’s none left.
- Neither of them can make cheese cake.
- I’ve asked them both, but neither one could explain it well.
- Such was his speech to all the workers.
- A victory for Germany at World Cup 2014 had been predicted, and such indeed was the result.
Well, that’s our entire English lesson about demonstrative pronouns.