What is a Demonstrative Pronoun? Definition, Examples of Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronoun definition: Demonstrative pronouns are words that replace nouns and identify something specific.

What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?

What are demonstrative pronouns? Demonstrative pronouns are words that replace nouns and identify something specific. Demonstrative pronouns can only be used when they are preceded with an antecedent.

 

Example without antecedent:

  • This is fantastic.

what are demonstrative pronoun “This” replaces a noun and identifies something specific. The speaker is referring to something within close proximity. However, without an antecedent, “this” is unclear.

Example with antecedent:

  • We were about halfway through the art exhibit. “This is fantastic,” Katrina remarked.

In this example, “this” is the pronoun to replace the antecedent, “the art exhibit.” “This” identifies the specific art exhibit.

Demonstrative Pronoun List

Here is a list of demonstrative pronouns. They include,

  • This
  • That
  • These
  • Those

This/That for Singular Nouns

what is demonstrative pronoun Demonstrative pronouns “this” and “that” are used for singular nouns.

When to use this: This is used for a noun in close proximity.

Demonstrative Pronouns Examples:

  • Do you like this?

In this sentence, the speaker likely has the item in front of him. The item is in very close proximity to the speaker.

Outside Example:

  • “This is all about a short-term pickup,” Penney said, adding that “you don’t build loyalty by giving away food.” The program ends in September. –New York Post

When to use that: That is used for a noun at greater distance.

Demonstrative Pronouns Examples:

  • Do you like that?

In this sentence, the speaker is likely pointing out a specific item among many. Perhaps it is across the room or in someone else’s possession.

Outside Example:

  • “That is one area I’m still committed to working on. We did a significant increase at 2.9%,” Snyder said. “That will be one of the priorities for the next budget.” –Detroit Free Press

These/Those for plural nouns

what is an demonstrative pronoun Demonstrative pronouns “these” and “those” are used for plural nouns.

When to use these: These is used for nouns in close proximity.

Demonstrative Pronoun Examples:

  • These are my friends.

In this sentence, the friends are likely in very close proximity to the speaker. Perhaps he is introducing them to someone.

When to use those: Those is used for nouns at greater distance.

Demonstrative Pronoun Examples:

  • Those are my friends.

In this sentence, the speaker is likely pointing to people. Perhaps the friends are across the room or among a crowd.

Using Demonstrative Pronouns

pronouns demonstrative worksheets Pronouns replace a noun or nouns. In English, pronouns are used to write and speak efficiently and to avoid redundancy. An antecedent must be identified before a pronoun can be used.

Like any other noun or pronoun, demonstrative pronouns need to agree with the verb. That is, singular demonstrative pronouns (this, that) are used with singular verbs. Plural demonstrative pronouns (these, those) are used with plural verbs.

For example:

  • Mary, Kate, and Ashley arrived at our house.
  • “These are my friends,” I said as I introduced them to my parents.

In this example, “these” is the pronoun that replaces “Mary, Kate, and Ashley.” Since there are three friends, a plural pronoun is necessary. Furthermore, “these” functions as the subject and must be used with the plural verb, “are.”

Demonstrative Adjectives vs. Demonstrative Pronouns

demonstrative pronoun and adjectives Demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns look similar because they are the same four terms: this, that, these, those.

However, demonstrative adjectives modify a specific noun or noun whereas demonstrative pronouns replace a specific noun or nouns.

Example of Demonstrative Pronoun:

  • I purchased that yesterday.

Example of Demonstrative Adjective:

  • I bought that tool yesterday.

In the first sentence, “that” serves as a pronoun, replacing whatever “that” is. In the second sentence, “that” serves as an adjective, describing a specific tool.

Demonstrative Pronouns Exercises

Here are a few exercises with demonstrative pronouns. Fill in the blank with the appropriate pronoun.

  1. I stood in line at the department store. “Would you like to purchase ______?” asked the associate, pointing to the clothes on the counter.
  2. “I can’t believe you haven’t seen ______,” said Charlie as we watched a viral video.
  3. “Where did you buy ______?” asked Jillian, holding a pair of shoes.

See answers below.

Summary: What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?

Define demonstrative pronouns: The definition of demonstrative pronoun is a word that replaces a noun to refer to specific people or things that have been previously mentioned.

Demonstrative pronouns replace specific nouns and include this, that, these, and those.

This and that are used for singular nouns.

These and those are used for plural nouns.

This and these are used for nouns in close proximity while that and those are used for nouns at greater distance.

Answers

  1. These
  2. This
  3. These
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