Difference Between Demonstrative Adjective and Demonstrative Pronoun

Main Difference – Demonstrative Adjective vs Demonstrative Pronoun

The four terms this, these, that and those are used to identify and indicate specific objects or people. These four terms can be used either as demonstrative adjectives or demonstrative pronouns. Although these terms are used for both demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns, there is a big difference between them based on their function and use. The main difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns is that demonstrative adjectives modify a noun whereas demonstrative pronouns replace a noun.

What is a Demonstrative Pronoun

A pronoun is a word that can replace a noun. A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that is used to replace a specific person or thing that has been previously mentioned or is understood from the context. It is used to indicate something specific within a sentence. The four demonstrative pronouns in English include this, that, these and those. They can refer to things in space or time, and they can be either singular or plural.

This and these refer to items that are close by in space or time whereas that and those refer to things that are far away in space or time. This and that refer to singular nouns whereas these and those refer to plural nouns.



Nearby in Space and Time



Farther away in Space and Time



This is my mother.

Can you pass me one of those?

That is my house over there.

These are not yours.

I don’t like this.

As you can observe from the above examples, demonstrative pronouns can stand alone; they are not followed by a noun or a noun phrase.

Main Difference - Demonstrative Adjective vs Demonstrative Pronoun

This is mine.

What is a Demonstrative Adjective

An adjective is a word that modifies a noun. A demonstrative adjective is used to modify a noun so that we can know which specific person, object or place is mentioned in a sentence. This, that, these and those are the four demonstrative adjectives in English. Since the function of a demonstrative adjective is modifying nouns, it is always followed by a noun. Note how demonstrative adjectives are used in the following sentences.

He lives in that village.

Can I borrow this pen for a moment?

Those babies were cute.

These people are accusing you of theft.

Difference Between Demonstrative Adjective and Demonstrative Pronoun

This teddy is mine.

Difference Between Demonstrative Adjective and Demonstrative Pronoun

Now that you know the difference between a demonstrative adjective and demonstrative pronoun read the following sentence pairs and see whether you can identify them correctly.

Example 1:

This dog is mine.

This is my dog.

Example 2:

This cake smells delicious.

This smells delicious.

The difference between demonstrative adjective and demonstrative pronoun include,


Demonstrative Adjectives modify the noun.

Demonstrative Pronouns replace the noun.


Demonstrative Adjectives are followed by a noun.

Demonstrative Pronouns are not followed by a noun.


Demonstrative Adjectives are not followed by the main verb.

Demonstrative Pronouns are often followed by the main verb.Difference Between Demonstrative Adjective and Demonstrative Pronoun - infographic

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