Demonstrative Pronouns



What are Demonstrative Pronouns?

Before diving into the importance and usage of demonstrative pronouns, it’s important to understand what they are.
In simple terms, demonstrative pronouns are words used to replace or indicate specific people, places, or things in a sentence.
They help to clarify which object is being referred to without having to repeat the noun over and over again.
For example, instead of saying “I want you to pass me that book on the table,”
you can use a demonstrative pronoun by saying “I want you to pass me that.”
This makes the sentence clearer and more concise.
There are four main demonstrative pronouns in English:
this, that, these, and those.
The first two refer to singular objects while the latter two refer to plural objects. Understanding how they work is crucial for effective communication.

The Importance of Demonstrative Pronouns in Communication

Demonstrative pronouns play a vital role in communication by helping us avoid repetition and confusion when referring to specific objects or locations.
They allow us to convey meaning more clearly and efficiently.
Using demonstrative pronouns also helps avoid ambiguity when there are multiple objects or locations being discussed.
For example,
if someone says
“I need you to pick up my phone,” but there are two phones on the table, it’s much easier for them to specify which phone they need by using a demonstrative pronoun such as “can you please give me that phone?”
Furthermore, using demonstrative pronouns helps speakers maintain focus on their message rather than getting bogged down with unnecessary details.
Overall, mastering the use of these words can greatly enhance communication skills both in written and spoken contexts.

Types of Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are words that replace or refer to a specific noun in a sentence.
There are four types of demonstrative pronouns, which include singular and plural forms for both close and far distances. The singular demonstrative pronouns are ‘this’ and ‘that,’ while the plural ones are ‘these’ and ‘those.’

Singular Demonstrative Pronouns (This, That)

The singular demonstrative pronoun ‘this’ is used to indicate something that is nearby or currently happening.
It refers to a single object that is close to the speaker or writer at the moment of speaking or writing.
For instance, “This is my phone” indicates that the speaker is holding their phone while speaking.
The singular demonstrative pronoun ‘that’ refers to something far away from the speaker or writer at the moment of speaking or writing.
That can also be used with time when referring to events in the past: “That was an excellent movie” means it’s already over and happened previously.

Plural Demonstrative Pronouns (These, Those)

The plural demonstrative pronoun ‘these’ refers to objects that are near the speaker/writer at present.
It shows more than one object nearer in space than other things in its class: “These candies taste good.” implies they’re within arm’s reach.
The plural demonstrative pronoun ‘those’ refers to objects that are away from both speaker/writer and listener/reader.
It shows more than one entity farther in space compared with others in its class: “Those were great memories.” implies they’re not within arms reach but there’s still a connection such as memories shared with someone else.

Examples and Usage of Singular Demonstrative Pronouns

This – used to refer to something close to the speaker or happening now

The demonstrative pronoun “this” is used to indicate a person, thing, idea, or an event that is very close to the speaker or happening in the present.
It helps in giving emphasis on a particular subject as compared to the rest.
For instance, “This is my favorite book” means that out of all books I have read until now, this one stands out as my favorite.
Another example could be “This feels great,” which implies that what you are currently experiencing feels fantastic.
The usage of “this” in this context highlights the current situation or feeling and emphasizes its importance.
Moreover, when you want to explain something and point it out more clearly, using “this” can make things more obvious and easier for others to understand your point of view.
For example: “I want you to try this new ice cream flavor.” This sentence tells others exactly what they should pay attention to – which ice cream flavor they need try.

That – used refer something far from the speaker or happened in the past.

The word ‘that’ is commonly used for things that are away either physically distant from us or have happened in the past.
When someone wants to talk about a memory from their childhood like: “That was a great movie”, they tend use “that” instead of “this” because it refers back towards something specific but not immediately present.
Similarly, you could say: “That’s a nice car over there,” referring towards a vehicle that’s parked across the street, which is not close enough for one would call ‘present.’ Furthermore, ‘that’ can also be used when making comparisons between two entities.
For instance: “He loves rock music; I prefer pop music.” Here, using “that” draws attention to the other person’s preference and hence, sets up a comparison between two things.
Overall, the demonstrative pronouns ‘this’ and ‘that’ are essential for effective communication as they allow individuals to clearly express themselves while emphasizing particular items in their speech.

Examples and Usage of Plural Demonstrative Pronouns

Plural demonstrative pronouns are used when referring to more than one object. There are two plural demonstrative pronouns – “these” and “those.”
The usage of these pronouns depends on the distance between the speaker and the objects being referred to.
When using “these,” it refers to objects that are close to the speaker or happening now.
For example, if you’re holding a few books in your hand while talking, you can say, “These books are my favorites.”
Another example is when someone is pointing at something nearby and says, “Look at these beautiful flowers.”
In both cases, the speaker is referring to objects that they can see or hold right now.
On the other hand, when using “those,” it refers to objects that are far from the speaker or happened in the past.
For instance, if someone asks about a picture album far from where you’re standing while looking at it from afar, you can say, “Those albums were taken during our family vacation last summer.”
Another example would be if someone asked you about an old car parked across your street; you could say, “Those cars have been there for weeks without anyone moving them.”
In essence, using plural demonstrative pronouns helps speakers avoid repeating themselves constantly by replacing singular nouns with plural ones that point out specific objects with one word.
It’s crucial to use these words correctly based on time and distance so as not to create confusion for listeners or readers.

Exceptions and Special Cases for Using Demonstrative Pronouns

Using “That” as a Conjunction

Demonstrative pronouns can also be used as conjunctions to connect two clauses in a sentence.
In such cases, the demonstrative pronoun “that” is commonly used.
For instance, instead of using “because,” you might use “that” in your sentence.
An excellent example can be seen in this sentence:
She said that she will come tomorrow. Here, the clause “she will come tomorrow” is connected with the main clause using the word ‘that.’ The use of ‘that’ as a conjunction helps to make your writing more concise and elegant.
It’s essential to note that the word ‘that’ isn’t always used as a conjunction; it can also be an adjective or pronoun depending on how it’s being utilized in a specific context.
Therefore, when using demonstrative pronouns like ‘that,’ you’ll need to pay attention to their function within your written text.

Using “This” as an Adjective

Apart from functioning as a pronoun, ‘this’ can also act as an adjective by modifying or describing a noun that follows it.
For instance: This book is interesting; here, ‘this’ functions as an adjective modifying or describing ‘book.’
Normally, adjectives are placed before nouns they modify or describe; thus this sentence has proper grammar structure.
Similarly, other demonstratives like “these” and “those” can function both as adjectives and pronouns depending on their place in a sentence.
When they function as adjectives, they modify nouns that follow them while when they act like pronouns they replace nouns already mentioned earlier in the text.
Learning how to use demonstrative pronouns correctly is crucial for effective communication skills mastery.
By learning these unique usages, you can improve your writing and speaking capabilities.


Demonstrative pronouns are an essential part of communication in any language.
They help us convey information about objects, people, and ideas without having to repeatedly mention them by name.
The correct use of demonstrative pronouns can also provide clarity and context to a conversation or written piece.
In this article, we have covered the different types of demonstrative pronouns, including singular (this, that) and plural (these, those).
We have also provided examples of how to use each type correctly in a sentence.
It’s important to note that in some cases, demonstrative pronouns can be used as conjunctions or adjectives as well.
So why is it crucial to understand the importance and usage of demonstrative pronouns? Clear communication is vital in every aspect of our lives – personal relationships, academic and professional settings alike.
Misunderstandings happen when we fail to communicate effectively or don’t convey our intended meaning accurately.
By using demonstrative pronouns correctly and appropriately, we can reduce the chances of confusion and create better understanding between speakers or readers.
Using demonstrative pronouns correctly may seem like a small detail in communication but has significant outcomes on conveying messages precisely.
By improving our language skills in this area through practice and repetition, we can elevate our level of communicational expertise across various settings with varying levels of complexity.

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