We use demonstrative pronouns to replace a noun or a noun phrase to show whether something or more things are near or far in space or time.
There are four demonstrative pronouns used as follow:
this is to replace a singular noun (person or thing) that is around or nearby to the speaker.
that is to replace a singular noun that is distant from the speaker.
these is to replace a plural noun that is around or nearby to the speaker.
those to replace a plural noun that is distant from the speaker.
Lesser known demonstrative pronouns: none, such, neither. .
None is used to show not one of a group of people or things.
Such is used to refer to someone or something specified or implied.
Neither is used to mean not the one and not the other of two people or things.
None can be used as singular and plural demonstrative pronouns.
- Singular: The seller said that none of that type is available.
(None is singular because type is singular.)
- Plural: She was talking about the world coming to an end, but none of us were listening.
(None is plural because us is plural.)
Such can be used as singular and plural demonstrative pronouns.
- If such is the way she explains things, the children will find it difficult to understand.
(Such is singular because way is singular.)
- Such are the things we need to bring along for the trip to study the rocky landscape.
(Such is plural because things is plural.)
Neither is always a singular pronoun and requires a singular verb.
- Neither of the parents believes a word of what he said.
Demonstrative pronoun replaces noun phrase.
In the following examples, the bold words in the first sentences are noun phrases, while the bold words in the second sentences are demonstrative pronouns replacing the noun phrases.
The new pair of shoes
is tight, and it hurts a bit.
This is tight and it hurts a bit.
The Asian food
is a bit spicy.
That is a bit spicy.
will be added to the chicken soup.
These will be added to the chicken soup.
What are the two bright objects hovering in the sky? What are those?
A demonstrative pronoun can be a subject or object in a sentence.
This is the oldest building in town. (Subject)
I hate this. Please take it away. (Object)
That has to be the best dinner we have had for a long time. (Subject)
He kept talking about himself and nobody liked that. (Object)
Demonstrative pronoun and demonstrative adjective.
A word is not a demonstrative pronoun if it comes before a noun. Such a word is in fact a demonstrative adjective which precedes a noun and acts as a modifier of the noun. It should not be confused with a demonstrative pronoun which does not modify a noun. Unlike the demonstrative adjective, a demonstrative pronoun replaces a noun and stands on its own in a sentence.
- Demonstrative pronoun: This is the same story I heard from him before.
Demonstrative adjective: This story is the same one I heard from him before.
- Demonstrative pronoun: That is not a bird; it is a kite.
Demonstrative adjective: That kite looks like a bird.