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What is a Demonstrative Pronoun? | Examples & Quiz

Updated on November 30, 2015
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Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a Master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?
What is a Demonstrative Pronoun? | Source

What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?

A demonstrative pronoun is a kind of pronoun that points out objects located near or far from the speaker. There are four demonstrative pronouns in English: this, that, these and those. Look at the following sentences:

  1. This is a book.
  2. That is a table.
  3. Those were beautiful songs.
  4. These are ants.

In the above-mentioned sentences, the highlighted words function as subjects of the sentences. Hence, they are called demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstrative pronouns show us the distance and number of the objects. For example:

  1. This is a cow.
  2. That was a beautiful cow.
  3. These are cows.
  4. Those were Australian cows.

The first and second sentences tell us about the distance and number of the objects. The object cow is located nearby the speaker, while the second sentence refers to the cow in the past. Similarly, the first sentence shows that the cow is only one in number, while the second sentence indicates that the cows are more than one. Now let’s see how demonstrative pronouns are used:

  • This is used to indicate singular things located nearby the speaker
  • That is used to indicate singular things located far from the speaker
  • These is used to indicate plural things located nearby the speaker
  • Those is used to indicate plural things located far from the speaker

Difference Between Demonstrative Pronouns & Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative pronouns should not be confused with the demonstrative adjectives. The only difference that differentiates the demonstrative pronouns from the demonstrative adjectives is the position of this, that, these and those. Demonstrative pronouns are used with verbs, while demonstrative adjectives are used with nouns. Look at the following sentences, wherein the highlighted words are demonstrative pronouns, while the underlined words are nouns:

  1. This book is mine.
  2. That novel was an interesting piece of writing.
  3. These shoes are very expensive.
  4. Those days were the finest days in my life.

Examples of Demonstrative Pronouns

  1. This is an excuse.
  2. This is not the the book you are looking for.
  3. That was a good idea.
  4. These are the things we wished for.
  5. Those were beautiful days.
  6. These are the signs of thunderstorm.
  7. That was a bad day for us.
  8. This is what I want to convey to you.
  9. That helped me a lot.
  10. This won't help you. Try something new.

Demonstrative Pronouns Quiz

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© 2015 Muhammad Rafiq


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