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Los demostrativos

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As the name would indicate, “demonstratives” are words that help us “demonstrate” where something is. They are quite often accompanied by pointing and gestures. Demonstratives fall into two categories: demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns

1. Demonstrative adjectives

Imagine that you’re in a store browsing through merchandise and talking to a salesperson behind the counter. As you discuss the various products, you will likely use words like, “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” For example:

  • I’d like to try on this ring = Quiero comprar este anillo
  • How much does that book cost? = ¿Cuánto cuesta ese libro?
  • Whose toys are these? = ¿De quién son estos juguetes
  • I want to buy three of those light bulbs way over there. = Quiero comprar aquellos focos

Three things to remember:

  • We pick the adjective based on the closeness of the thing we are pointing at. 
  • Since it is an adjective it has to agree in gender and number. 
  • Demonstrative adjectives go before the noun.


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2. Demonstrative pronouns

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Let’s say that you’re in a store again shopping for a pen. Rather than say the word “pen” over and over again, you will probably use pronouns: “How much is this pen?” “How much is that one?” “What color are these?”

Here are some more examples. The first sentence includes an demonstrative adjective. The second one uses a demonstrative pronoun:

  • I like this car. She prefers that one. = Me gusta este coche. Ella prefiere ese.
  • I like these videos. She prefers those ones. = Me gustan estos videos. Ella prefiere esos.
  • I like these trees. She prefers those.= Me gustan estos árboles. Ella prefiere aquellos.
  • I like to read. She likes that too. = Me gusta leer. A ella también le gusta eso

Notice the following: 

  • In English we sometimes include the word “one” or “ones” with the pronouns.
  • In Spanish, the pronouns that we use look very similar to the adjectives
  • On the last example we are not replacing a noun but an action so we can’t use gender  or number and therefore we use the neuter form “eso”


¡Hola! A continuación tienes algo para practicar. Debes lograr al menos 80% ¡Suerte!

This unit “Los demostrativos” was created by Alegría Ribadeneira by combining original material and sections about possessives from Spanish411.net, licensed CC BY-NC-SA and Spanish Grammar Manual by Enrique Yépez licensed  CC BY-NC-SA.