Spanish demonstrative adjectives
Demonstrative adjectives (adjetivos demonstrativos) indicate where the noun they refer to is located:
- Close: Me gusta este par de vaqueros. (I like this pair of jeans.)
- Not as close: Esa colcha es roja. (That bedspread is red.)
- Far: Aquella puerta esta cerrada. (That door over there is red.)
Gender and number of demonstrative adjectives
Demonstrative adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.
Please note that the singular masculine forms of demonstrative adjectives end in -e (este, ese) and -el (aquel), NOT o.
- Este libro es muy interesante. (This book is very interesting.)
- Mi madre me compró esa falda blanca. (My mother bought me that white skirt.)
- Aquella ventana está abierta. (That window overe there is open.)
Placement of demonstrative adjectives
Demonstrative adjectives always precede the noun they modify.
- Este gato es blanco. (This cat is white.)
- Esa mujer sigue hablando. (That woman keeps on talking.)
- ¡Cierra aquella puerta! (Close that door over there!)
When to use what form (este, ese, aquel)
There are three different forms of demonstrative adjectives in Spanish and they all indicate a different location of the noun they modify.
- este, esta, estos, estas
- ese, esa, esos, esas
- aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas
1. Este - this
The word "este" indicates a physical location, a matter or a time close to the speaker and the listener.
- Este chico es abogado. (This guy is a lawyer.)
- Esta bufanda es blanca y negra. (This scarf is black and white.)
- Estos hombres no tienen vergüenza. (These men have no shame.)
- ¿Sabes cuánto cuestan estas sabanas? (Do you know how much these bed sheets cost?)
2. Ese - that
The word "ese" indicates a physical location, matter, or a time not so close to the speaker and the listener.
- Ese hombre es mi padre. (That man is my father.)
- Esa chica es rubia. (That girl is blonde.)
- Quiero comprar esos zapatos. (I want to buy those shoes.)
- En esas ciudades, no habían bares. (In those cities, there were no bars.)
3. Aquel - that...over there
The word "aquel" indicates a physical location, matter or a time far from the speaker and the listener.
- En aquel momento, se dió cuenta de que pasaban por las mismas dificuldades. (At that moment, he realized that they were going through the same difficulties.)
- ¡Cierra aquella ventana! (Close that door over there!)
- En aquellos días, pensó irse de casa. (He thought of leaving home during those days.)
- Abrid aquellas ventanas, hace calor. (Open those windows over there, it's hot.)
There are three adverbs which help distinguish the respective locations indicated by these demonstrative adjectives:
- este > aquí (this)
- ese > allí (that)
- aquel > allá (that...over there)
- Usa esta toalla aquí. (Use this towel here.)
- Pon ese vaso allí. (Put that glass there.)
- Cierra aquella puerta allá. (Close that door over there.)
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I’m French, currently living in the Netherlands.I lived in Paris for almost twenty years, and I know very well my country (and of course... my language, French, my mother tongue). I taught French for two years in Spain, conversation class about culture essentially.In Paris, I was Spanish teacher, I have the Agregation degree which is the highest degree for teaching in France, I'm bilingual. I've participated too in several editorial projects about Spanish teaching and DELE preparation. I have a Spanish Studies Master and I'm currently doing a research about the Spanish and Sefardi Judaism. I have a French as foreign language and a Religious Studies Masters too. I enjoy sharing what I know. I’m a very eclectic person and curious about everything. To give you an idea, my interest (and sometimes hobbies) are: philosophy, spirituality and religions in general, meditation, psychology and psychoanalysis, history, geography, literature, writing (in particular creative writing, and I’m used to write everyday), art (painting, photography), sciences (vulgarisation level) and cultural matters in general. I travel a lot (as a backpacker), sometimes by foot, and the places I know well are France, the Netherlands, Italy and Serbia.One of my qualities is my capacity of adaptation, I enjoy preparing documents to help the student to acquire autonomy, but I love speaking too, and it’s the best way to learn a language.I'm waiting for your message, please when contact me, explain quickly who you are, why you want to study French and what you are looking for exactly.See you soon. Read more
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