Spanish demonstrative pronouns
Spanish demonstrative pronouns (pronombres demonstrativos) are used to indicate a specific object (noun).
Unlike demonstrative adjectives, they replace, rather than describe, a noun.
that one over there
those (onese over there)
- ¿Cuál prefieres? (Which one do you prefer?)
- Prefiero ésta. (I prefer this one.)
Each demonstrative pronoun has four forms that must agree in gender and number with the noun they replace.
They have the same form as the demonstrative adjectives.
- El pastel que hizo mi madre era más rico que éste. (The cake my mother made was more delicious than this one.)
- Compra este par zapatos. Es más baratos que ése. (Buy this pair of shoes. It is cheaper than that one.)
- Subimos por esas escaleras. Aquéllas son peligrosas. (Climb up that ladder. That one over there is dangerous.)
To distinguish them from the demonstrative adjectives, the pronouns may have the accent mark. However, the RAE has ruled that the "tilde" is no longer necessary.
Mi portátil es más rápido que éste. OR Mi portátil es más rápido que este. (My laptop is faster than this one.)
Demonstrative pronoun forms
Spanish has three types of demonstrative pronoun:
1. Éste - this one
Éste replaces a noun which is close to the speaker.
- El vestido azul te sienta mejor que éste. (The blue dress fits you better that this one.)
- Compro ésta. (I'll buy this one.)
- Los zapatos rojos no me gustan. Voy a probar éstos. (I do not like the red shoes. I will try on these ones.)
- Olvídate de éstas. (Forget these ones.)
2. Ése - that one
Ése replaces a noun which is not very close to the speaker.
- Toma este caramelo y deja ése a este niño. (Take this candy and leave that one to this little boy.)
- Esta bufanda es de seda y ésa es de lana. (This scarf is made of silk and that one is made of wool.)
- ¿Te gustan estos vaqueros? No, prefiero ésos. (Do you like my jeans? No, I prefer those ones.)
- ¿Me pongo estas medias o ésas? (Should I wear these tights or those ones?)
3. Aquél - this one over there
Aquél replaces a noun far from both the speaker and the listener.
|Singular||aquél||aquélla||that one over there|
|Plural||aquéllos||aquéllas||those one over there|
- Aquél es el primo de Juan. (That one over there is Juan's cousin.)
- Me encantan tus tartas pero aquélla es más rica. (I love your cakes but that one over there is there)
- Aquéllos son nuestros padres. (Those ones over there are our parents.)
- Esas botas son más caras que aquéllas. (These boots are more expensive than those ones over there.)
The neuter forms of the demonstrative pronouns
|Neuter form||English translation||Example|
|esto*||this||¡Esto es una barbaridad! (This is horrible!)|
|eso*||that||Quitamos el polvo de los muebles y pasamos el mocho. Eso es lo que hicimos. (We removed the dust from the furniture and mopped. That is what we did.)|
|aquello*||that||Aquello se está animando. (Things are getting lively there.)|
*Please note that esto, eso and aquello end in -o.
The neuter forms of demonstrative pronouns have the following uses:
they refer to an idea or a sentence previously mentioned
Es difícil encontrar el trabajo ideal. Eso es verdad. (It is hard to find the ideal job. This is true.)
they refer to something non specific or an object or idea not well know
¿Qué es eso? (What is that?)
Common expressions with eso
A: Esta noche no pude dormir. (Tonight I could not sleep.)
B: ¿Y eso? (Why?)
|en eso||then||Encontré a mi primo en la calle y en eso me recogió mi madre. (I met my cousin in the street and then my mother picked me up.)|
that is it
|Ayudame cuando caigo, eso es. (Help me when I fall, that is it.)|
|por eso||that is why||Nadie me hacía caso, por eso me fui. (Nobody was listening to me, that is why I went away.)|
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