Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish

Overview

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.

1. Este

Este is used to replace a noun or nouns close to the speaker.

SingularPlural
Masculineeste  (this, this one)estos  (these, these ones)
Feminineesta  (this, this one)estas  (these, these ones)
Mi coche es más rápido que este.
My car is faster than this one.
 
Yo quiero esta aquí.
I want this one here.
 
Siéntense en estas aquí.
Sit in these here.
 

2. Ese

Ese is used to replace a noun or nouns that are not very close to the speaker.

SingularPlural
Masculineese  (that, that one)esos  (those those ones)
Feminineesa  (that, that one)esas  (those, those ones)
¿Te gusta esa?
Do you like that one?
 
Tienes uno, ese es para él.
You have one, that one is for him.
 
Esas son las más bonitas.
Those are the most beautiful.
 

3. Aquel

Aquel is used to replace a noun or nouns far from the speaker and listener.

SingularPlural
Masculineaquel  (that, that one)aquellos  (those, those ones)
Feminineaquella  (that, that one)aquellas  (those, those ones)
Aquel es peligroso.
That one over there is dangerous.
 
Aquellos son los jefes.
Those over there are the bosses.
 
Aquel es el Gran Cañón.
That is the Grand Canyon.
 

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