Quick Answer

The word demonstrative comes from the verb to demonstrate, and that's exactly what a Spanish demonstrative pronoun (pronombre demostrativo) does: it demonstrates, or identifies, the noun it refers 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 simply 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!

Spanish Demonstrative Pronoun Forms

Spanish has three types of demonstrative pronouns, and they all must match the nouns they replace in gender and number.

1. Este

Este is used to replace a noun close to the speaker. Below you'll find the four forms this pronoun can take, as well as some examples of each.

Este Forms

Masculineeste(this, this one)estos(these, these ones)
Feminineesta(this, this one)estas(these, these ones)

Here are examples of the four forms of este can take.

Mi coche es más rápido que este.
My car is faster than this one.
Yo quiero esta aquí.
I want this one here.
Estos se me hacen más bonitos.
I think these are prettier.
Siéntense en estas aquí.
Sit in these here.

2. Ese

Ese is used to replace a noun that is not very close to the speaker (though it may be close to whoever the speaker is talking to). Check out the different forms ese can take.

Ese Forms

Masculineese(that, that one)esos(those those ones)
Feminineesa(that, that one)esas(those, those ones)

Here are examples of the four forms of ese.

Ya tienes uno; ese es para tu hermano.
You already have one; that one is for your brother.
¿Te gusta esa?
Do you like that one?
No me agradan esos.
I don't like those.
Esas son las más bonitas.
Those are the most beautiful.

3. Aquel

Aquelis used to replace a noun far from both the speaker and the listener. Below you'll find the four forms this pronoun can take in Spanish.

Aquel Forms

Masculineaquel(that, that one)aquellos(those, those ones)
Feminineaquella(that, that one)aquellas(those, those ones)

Here are examples of aquel in action.

Aquel es el Gran Cañón.
That is the Grand Canyon.
Aquella es peligrosa.
That one over there is dangerous.
Aquellos son los jefes.
Those over there are the bosses.
¿Cómo se llaman aquellas?
What are those called?
Ready to practice?
Master Demonstrative Adjectives & Pronouns with our interactive video lessons.
Start first lesson