Demonstrative Pronouns

What are Demonstrative Pronouns?

The objective case of nouns is a grammatical form that is used when the noun is being used as the object of a verb or preposition. This means that the objective case of nouns denotes the receiver of the action, in contrast to the nominative case which denotes the doer.

To identify objective case nouns, it is important to know who or what receives the action within the sentence, and then determine if those receiving words are pronouns or nouns. If they are pronouns, then the objective case can be easily identified. However, if these words are nouns then you should look for prepositions following them and modifiers preceding them which should help lead you toward identifying objective case terms.

Demonstrative Pronouns Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using a Demonstrative Pronoun phrase will help communication become clearer and easier. With these four rules firmly entrenched in one’s grammar skillset, any English speaker can properly construct sentences with ease!

AgreeFirst, demonstratives must agree with their antecedent—the noun they are referring to—in number, gender and distance.
AntecedentsSecond, demonstratives cannot be used by themselves; instead, they require an antecedent for clarity of the sentence.
EmphasisThird, demonstratives can be combined with adverbs and adjectives for emphasis.
CombinationsFinally, demonstratives should not be combined with demonstrative adjectives; while this combination can be seen in certain dialects around the world, it is most commonly considered incorrect usage in formal English writing.
Demonstrative Pronouns Rules and Explanations Table
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Examples of Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are words that point out specific people or things. They can be used to provide additional information about an item, person or situation. Examples of demonstrative pronouns include:

  • This
  • That
  • These
  • Those

Demonstrative pronouns help the speaker refer back easily to previously mentioned items in conversation and make writing more precise and engaging. They are important for clarifying questions and providing more accurate details.

Demonstrative Pronouns Exercises with Answers


  • _ book is mine.
  • _ flags look nice.
  • _ is my desk.
  • _ wasn’t very nice of you.
  • _ are really good cookies.


  • This book is mine.
  • Those flags look nice.
  • This is my desk.
  • That wasn’t very nice of you.
  • These are really good cookies.

Demonstrative Pronouns List

ThisFor near, present, or recent items.
TheseAlso for near, present, or recent items.
ThatAlso for far, past, or absent items.
ThoseAlso for far, past or absent items.
SuchCan be used for any item.
WhatCan also be used for any item.
WhichIn indication word.
Demonstrative Pronouns List Table
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Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

As an ESL student or language learner, one of the most important things you can do to improve your English is to practice demonstrative pronouns (ex. this, that, those).

Demonstrative pronouns can often be used interchangeably in many English grammar structures. However, it’s vital to be mindful of context and which demonstrative pronoun is the most appropriate to use. To help master demonstrative pronouns, read as much as possible and choose simple sentences containing demonstratives and familiar topics such as school, friends, etc. Also, try rewriting sentences with different demonstrative alternatives–this will eventually become second nature!

Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand indefinite pronouns and interrogative pronouns.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

English learners often make the mistake of confusing demonstrative pronouns and adjectives, such as “this” and “that”.

It is essential to know how to properly use demonstrative pronouns because they are used to point out nouns that already exist in a conversation or writing. For example, if you are talking about a car you saw earlier, you would use “that car” instead of simply saying “car”.

Using demonstrative pronouns correctly will make a big difference in your ability to express yourself in English. Another common mistake made by learners is using incorrect verb tenses. Mastering the correct use of verb conjugations can take time, but it becomes easier with practice. An easy way to start practicing is by creating sentences that describe simple actions such as going for a walk or drinking coffee. Being attentive to these details will help improve your English proficiency overall.

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct pronoun usage can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong pronouns and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking English, you would use a pronoun that reflects the subject in question. Keep context in mind when selecting your pronouns.

2. Lack of Nouns

Why it Happens

The easiest mistake is leaving out pronouns when needed. Failing to use these in phrases can lead others to misinterpret what you are trying to express.

Correct Use

Pronouns join words to a person, place, or thing – for example, ‘the cat meowed’ or ‘I love pasta’.

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3. Inconsistency

Why it Happens

People forget how they described something before and change the context in a contradictory manner. This confuses the reader.

Correct Use

Be sure that your pronouns remain consistent throughout your writing. There should be no sudden shifts from ‘woman’ to ‘girl’ unless there was a clear shift in the thing being described.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which pronouns to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many pronouns can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

It’s easy to make mistakes while speaking and writing, especially when it comes to demonstrative pronouns like this, that, these, and those.

  • To avoid confusion, it’s important to clearly state the noun or object you’re referring to when using demonstrative pronouns.
  • Pay special attention when you are making comparisons between things by using demonstrative adjectives like such, same, and similar.
  • It’s also helpful to remember that demonstrative pronouns can be used as substitutes for specific nouns.

Using demonstrative pronouns correctly will help your communication skills greatly!

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Learning Demonstrative Pronouns Strategies and Best Practices

Demonstrative pronouns are an essential part of language, but they can be hard to learn. Luckily, there are some helpful strategies and best practices you can learn to help make demonstrative pronoun use easier.

Active learning with demonstratives is one of the most effective ways to solidify their use. This includes varying techniques like conversation practice and asking someone to provide demonstratives in lieu of specific nouns to expand your understanding. Role-playing games and visual aids such as diagrams or infographics are also useful in identifying appropriate demonstrative usage. Additionally, keep reading for more useful tips:

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various forms and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use pronouns correctly is to study a list of nouns and their usages, and then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to nouns hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and more accurately.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently a type of pronoun should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every pronoun you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the pronouns exercise to everyday conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the pronouns they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

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Demonstrative Pronouns Frequently Asked Questions

Demonstrative pronouns are a type of pronoun used to refer directly to someone or something. For English language learners, understanding demonstrative pronouns can be challenging, as there are 12 demonstrative pronouns that vary in usage based on the number and distance from the speaker.

The demonstrative pronouns are “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” Depending on the context, they can represent singular or plural nouns and indicate things that are near or far away from the speaker. Knowing when to use each demonstrative pronoun correctly is an important part of communicating effectively in the English language.

There are 11 types of pronouns in total, including demonstrative pronouns that can be used to help make a point more clear or more familiar.

Demonstrative pronouns refer to specific items or people in the place of a noun, such as demonstrative words like this and that.

Additionally, there are personal pronouns which refer to a specific person’s identity; reflexive pronouns which allow us to talk about ourselves; possessive pronouns which show possession or ownership; interrogative pronouns which form questions; indefinite pronouns that can refer to anyone; relative pronouns which connect different clauses together; and some others including neuter pronouns, neutral pronouns, masculine pronouns, English pronouns, feminine pronouns, reciprocal pronouns, intensive pronouns, singular third-person pronouns, concise catch-all pronouns, subject pronouns, female pronouns, Polish pronouns, gender-neutral and gender-inclusive pronouns, pronouns in sentences, and many others from the class of pronouns. Knowing about each type of pronoun is helpful for mastering English grammar.

Demonstrative pronouns are important parts of language, and there is no question why: demonstrative pronouns provide a way to easily point out something specific in speech. There are four of these types of pronouns in the English language. These include “this”, “that”, “these”, and “those”.

Each demonstrative pronoun has its own use, but the basic function is to refer back to something already discussed or known. For example, if someone were discussing their favourite books and stated that they loved a certain one, they could then use the demonstrative pronoun “this” to refer back to that book.

The demonstrative pronouns provide an efficient way of communicating while still keeping the conversation interesting; they can be used specifically or even broadly depending on the context of the conversation.

The word “you” is a demonstrative pronoun, which is used to refer to a specific person or group of people. These types of pronouns have the same meaning as demonstratives (such as “this” and “that”), but they also indicate a particular grammatical relationship with other words in a sentence.

For example, “you” can be used as the subject of a sentence: You are going to the store. It can also act as an object: I am helping you with your homework. In both cases, demonstrative pronouns provide important information about who or what is the focus of our conversation or thought process.

Demonstrative pronouns are an essential element of many language families (Including romance languages, Slavic languages, Indo-European languages, and various forms of writing including academic writing, creative writing, high grammatical function, compound forms, accusative forms, distance in time, type of distance, primary function, secondary function, and function of demonstratives) and play a significant role in how a speaker communicates their thoughts and compares objects.

The demonstrative pronoun ‘such’ is often seen as a subset of demonstrative pronouns and it is indeed used to point out an object or hypothetical situation, but exactly which demonstrative pronoun it is categorized under can be up for debate. While some linguists categorize ‘such’ as a demonstrative pronoun, others believe that it’s more closely associated with words like ‘so’ and ‘many’.

Essentially, this is due to the fact that there does not appear to have been any clear consensus defining what demonstrative pronouns are in relation to a noun phrase in complex sentences.

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