Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are a central part of English language and grammar. They are used to point out and identify people or things, whether near or far in space or time. This tutorial intends to provide a comprehensive understanding of demonstrative pronouns, their use, types, rules, and common examples. Let's get started on this fascinating journey of English grammar.

Understanding Demonstrative Pronouns

The first step to mastering demonstrative pronouns is understanding what they are. Demonstrative pronouns are words that are used to replace nouns in a sentence to avoid repetition. They direct the reader or listener's attention towards a specific person or thing previously mentioned, or clear in the context. The four demonstrative pronouns in English are 'this', 'that', 'these', 'those'.

'This' and 'That'

'This' and 'that' are singular demonstrative pronouns. They refer to a singular noun being replaced in the sentence. 'This' is used when the person, object, or situation is near us, either physically or emotionally. On the other hand, 'that' refers to a singular noun that is further away.

  1. This is my favorite book.
  2. That is your car.

'These' and 'Those'

'These' and 'those' are plural demonstrative pronouns. They replace a plural noun in a sentence. Similar to 'this', 'these' refers to objects, people, or situations close to the speaker. However, 'those' indicates greater distance.

  1. These are my accessories.
  2. Those are your glasses.

Demonstrative Pronouns Rules

While demonstrative pronouns may seem easy to use, it's important to remember some rules when using them:

  1. Distinction Between Proximity: 'This' and 'these' refer to things that are near while 'that' and 'those' refer to things further away.
  2. Number Agreement: Make sure to use 'this' or 'that' for singular nouns and 'these' or 'those' for plural nouns.
  3. Pronoun-Noun Agreement: Demonstrative pronouns should agree with the noun they replace in gender and number.

How to Use Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns play a significant role in the English language. They can be used in different ways:

Demonstrative Pronouns As a Subject

In this usage type, the demonstrative pronouns 'this', 'that', 'these', 'those' act as the subject of a sentence.

  1. This is delicious.
  2. That sounds fun.
  3. These are my friends.
  4. Those look yummy.

Demonstrative Pronouns with Nouns

Demonstrative pronouns can sometimes be used with nouns to clarify and specify the noun in question. However, in this case, they fall under the category of demonstrative adjectives rather than demonstrative pronouns.

  1. This shirt is mine.
  2. That picture is beautiful.
  3. These cookies are tasty.
  4. Those books are hers.

Common Mistakes with Demonstrative Pronouns

Common mistakes involve confusion with demonstrative adjectives, proximity, and number. Remember, a demonstrative pronoun stands alone, while a demonstrative adjective qualifies a noun.
Misuse of 'this' and 'these' for distant things or 'that' and 'those' for close ones is also a common error. And don't forget the rule about singular and plural pairs; 'this' or 'that' should be used for singular nouns and 'these' or 'those' for plurals.


Demonstrative pronouns are a fundamental part of our everyday language. They help us avoid repetitive and redundant sentences, making our conversation and writing more dynamic and exciting. In mastering their use, we not only enrich our language but it also enhances our expression and communication. Keep practicing and applying the rules and usages we've discussed, and you'll be a pro in no time. Happy learning!

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