Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish
The word demonstrative comes from the verb to demonstrate, and that's exactly what demonstrative pronouns do: demonstrate, or indicate, the noun they refer to.
Imagine you had two pasteles (cakes) in front of you and someone asked you which one you wanted. If you were feeling particularly succinct, you could respond with este (this one) or ese (that one). Este and ese are both demonstrative pronouns. While they look very similar to demonstrative adjectives, demonstrative pronouns replace, rather than describe, a noun.
In the past, demonstrative pronouns were always written with a tilde (written accent) to differentiate them from demonstrative adjectives. However, la RAE (Real Academia Española ), the institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language, has ruled that the tildes are no longer necessary. Thanks for making life easier, RAE!
Demonstrative Pronoun Forms
Spanish has three types of demonstrative pronoun, and they all must much the nouns they replace in gender and number.
Este is used to replace a noun or nouns close to the speaker.
|Masculine||este (this, this one)||estos (these, these ones)|
|Feminine||esta (this, this one)||estas (these, these ones)|
Ese is used to replace a noun or nouns that are not very close to the speaker.
|Masculine||ese (that, that one)||esos (those those ones)|
|Feminine||esa (that, that one)||esas (those, those ones)|
Aquel is used to replace a noun or nouns far from the speaker and listener.
|Masculine||aquel (that, that one)||aquellos (those, those ones)|
|Feminine||aquella (that, that one)||aquellas (those, those ones)|