What are Demonstrative Adjectives

What are Demonstrative Adjectives

In this article, we are going to discuss about demonstrative adjectives, their grammatical function and how to use them properly. Demonstrative words are used to indicate specific things or people. Demonstrative adjectives are used to modify a noun so that we can know which specific person, object or place is mentioned in a sentence. There are four main demonstrative adjectives in English. They are this, these, that, and those.


This is used with singular nouns. This can be used to indicate a specific person or object that is close by. This can also refer to a specific thing just mentioned.

This book is very interesting.

Can you believe this story?


These is the plural form of this. It is used to point out something that is close by. It can be also used in introductions.

These books are not mine.

These are my friends: Martha, Jane and Viola.


That is used to indicate a specific person or object that is further away. That is also used with singular nouns.

Can you see that book over there?


Those is the plural form of that; it is used to point out something farther away.

Those houses are very small.

Following sentences contain demonstrative adjectives. See if you can identify them correctly.

This house looks very attractive, but that house is really old and ugly.

These children are better than those children.

I’m talking about this book, not that book.

This cat with black and white strips is cuter than that cat with spots.

What are Demonstrative Adjectives

That jet is going to crash.

If you read the sentences above carefully, you’ll be able to note some features of demonstrative adjectives. The most important feature of demonstrative adjectives is that they are always followed by nouns. This is an important feature to notice as these four demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these and those) can also function as demonstrative pronouns. The main distinguishing factor between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronoun is the position of the demonstrative adjectives. A demonstrative adjective is always followed by a noun whereas a demonstrative pronoun is not followed by a noun. Demonstrative pronouns do not modify nouns. Instead, they stand alone as pronouns.

This is my book. → Demonstrative pronoun

This book is mine. → Demonstrative adjective

Can you erase this? → Demonstrative pronoun

Can you erase this word?→ Demonstrative adjective

Although this, that, these and those are considered as the main four demonstrative adjectives, some other words can also function as demonstrative adjectives, depending on the context. The underlined words in the following sentences act as demonstrative adjectives since they point out specific things or people.

We bought the fifth house we inspected.

The former option will cost us more money.

The yonder abode belongs to the Duke.

Demonstrative Adjectives – Summary

  • Demonstrative adjectives are used to point out specific people, places or objects.
  • They are always followed by a noun.
  • There are four main demonstrative adjectives in English: this, that, these and those.

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