What Is a Demonstrative Pronoun? Uses, Types with Examples

Welcome to the lesson demonstrative pronoun. After completing this lesson, you will be able to define demonstrative pronouns, identify demonstrative pronouns in given sentences.

What is Demonstrative Pronoun?

A demonstrative pronoun is used to demonstrate or point out people or things it stands for.

For example-

  1. Those are my pen.
    In this sentence those is used as a demonstrative pronoun. It is referring to the pen.
  2. This is without a doubt her pen.
    The demonstrative pronoun in this sentence is this, it is pointing out to a particular object ring. So this becomes the demonstrative pronoun for the noun pen.

Demonstrative pronouns are normally used for objects. But sometimes they can be used for people. This is when we have identified or are trying to identify a person.

For example- This is Raj speaking. Is that Raja?
This refers to Raj, the demonstrative pronoun that refers to Raja. In this sentence, demonstrative pronouns are used for people.

Types of demonstrative pronouns-

There are only four types of demonstrative pronouns.

Near (time/distance)Far (time/distance)
SingularThisThat
PluralTheseThose
This-

The demonstrative pronoun this is used to refer to a person or object that is close to the speaker in terms of distance or time.

For example- This is the dress I bought.
The speaker is reffering to a dress close to her.

These-

These is the plural of this.

For example- These are brand-new car.
The speaker is reffering to new car that are close to him.

That –

The demonstrative pronoun that is used to refer to a person or object far away from the speaker in terms of distance or time.

For example- That is the man I saw today.
The speaker is pointing out to a man who is some distance away.

Those –

Those is the plural of that.

For example- Those are not my pen.
The speaker is referring to a set of pen that are some distance away from him.

Uses of Demonstrative pronouns-

Demonstrative pronouns can be used in different ways.

  1. To point out to people or things they stand for.

For example-

These are very beautiful flowers.
The demonstrative pronoun these points out to the beautiful flowers.

2. To separate a category.

For example-

Those are the clothes we are returning.
The demonstrative pronoun those is used to refer to a particular set of clothes that will be returned.

3. When a statement or solution is referred to where the previously stated or going to follow.

For example-

That is the book I was going to write.
The demonstrative pronoun that is used to refer to a particular book that the speaker was about to write.

Differences between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns-

Let us look at how demonstrative adjectives are different from demonstrative pronouns.

This, that, these, those can act as demonstrative adjectives. Demonstrative adjectives are always placed before the noun.

For example-

  1. This shirt is nice.
    This qualifies the noun shirt.
  2. Those apples are very big.
    Those qualifies the noun apples.
  3. This book is mine.
    This qualifies the noun book.

Demonstrative pronouns are never placed before the noun. They can be used even if the noun is not mentioned.

For example-

  1. That is my car.
  2. This is our home.
  3. Those are not my shoes.

Do not confuse demonstrative pronouns with demonstrative adjectives. They are identical, but a demonstrative pronoun stands alone, while a demonstrative adjectives qualifies a noun.

Let us take a look at some more examples of demonstrative pronouns-

  1. This is going to happen.
  2. This is important note.
  3. Those are not my book.
  4. Those are my shoes.
  5. That is a pen.
  6. That wasn’t me.

Revise the important points of demonstrative pronouns-

  1. A demonstrative pronoun is used to demonstrate or point out people or things it stands for.
  2. A demonstrative pronoun is used to separate a category.
  3. A demonstrative pronoun is used when a statement or solution is referred to.
  4. Demonstrative adjectives are similar in form to demonstrative pronouns.
  5. Demonstrative adjectives are always placed before the noun.
  6. Demonstrative adjectives qualify the noun whereas demonstrative pronouns stand alone.
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