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Overview

As the name implies, demonstrative adjectives demonstrate a quality about the noun they modify, in this case, the location in respect to the speaker or the listener, and can be translated as “this,” “that,” “these,” or “those.” They are commonly used to say "which" noun or to emphasize a noun.

Demonstrative Adjective Forms

Spanish has three sets of demonstrative adjectives, depending on the location of the noun to the speaker or listener, each with a feminine, masculine, singular, and plural form. So each set has 4 different adjective forms, for a total of 12 in all. 

1. Este is used to describe a noun that is close to the speaker (this, these).

Este (and its other forms) is used to point out nouns which are close the speaker as well as the person to whom he or she is speaking. It is normaly within reaching distance.

  Singular Plural
Masculine este (this) estos (these)
Feminine esta (this) estas (these)
  • Este restaurante es mi favorito. (This restaurant is my favorite.)
  • Esta casa es grandísima. (This house is enormous.)
  • ¡Estos burritos son fantásticos! (These burritos are fantastic!)
  • Estas margaritas son ricas. (These margaritas are delicious.)

* To remember that este means this/these recite this rhyme: “The adjectives for this and these have the letter T.”

2. Ese is used to describe a noun that is not very close to the speaker (that, those)

Ese (and its other forms) is used to point out nouns which are further from the speaker and not easily within reach. The noun may be close to the listener, but not the speaker.

  Singular Plural
Masculine ese (that) esos (those)
Feminine esa (that) esas (those)
  • Quiero ese helado blanco. (I want that white ice cream.)
  • Traéme esa camisa, por favor. (Bring me that shirt, please.)
  • Esos monos son cómicos. (Those monkeys are funny.)
  • Esas flores son mis favoritas. (Those flowers are my favorites.)

3. Aquel is used to describe a noun that is far away from the speaker (that/those over there)

Aquel (and its other forms) is used to point out nouns which are far away from both the speaker and the listener, but within visual distance.

  Singular Plural
Masculine aquel (that over there) aquellos (those over there)
Feminine aquella (that over there) aquellas (those over there)
  • Aquel león es peligroso. (That lion over there is dangerous.)
  • Aquella chica es muy guapa. (That girl over there is really pretty.)
  • Aquellos edificios son los más viejos de la ciudad. (Those buildings over there are the oldest in the city.)
  • Aquellas nubes llevan la lluvia. (Those clouds over there bring the rain.)

Demonstrative Adjective Placement

Demonstrative adjectives are typically placed immediately before the nouns they modify. And if more than one noun is included, as in a series, the demonstrative adjective should precede each noun.

  • Esos libros y esos periódicos son buenos. (Those books and magazines are good.)
  • Esta casa y este apartamento son bonitos. (This house and apartment are pretty.)

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Category: adjectives | Keywords:

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