Demonstrative Adjectives

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Examples of Demonstrative Adjectives

A demonstrative adjective is a word that points out a noun.

In English, the words this, that, these, and those, are classified as demonstrative adjectives because they points out which person or thing is being talked about.

For example:
  • This book is interesting.

In this sentence, this points out the noun book.

A demonstrative adjective can:

  • tell whether the noun it modifies is singular or plural.
  • tell whether the noun it modifies is near or far from the speaker, the person speaking the sentence, as well as point out a fact about the noun it modifies.
Consider the following examples:
  • These books are not published by Remzik.
  • This yellow ribbon is mine and those pink ones are yours.
  • These mangoes are ripe, but that mango is unripe.

Therefore, in English the demonstrative adjectives this and these refer to persons or objects near the speaker, and that and those refer to persons or objects further away from the speaker.

This and that are the singular forms, and these and those are the plural forms. See NumberOpens in new window.

Closethis booksthese books
Further awaythat bookthose books
  • Article graphics | Credit Woodward English

Important Hint  

You should not confuse demonstrative adjectives with demonstrative pronounsOpens in new window. They are identical, but a demonstrative pronoun stands alone, while a demonstrative adjective is followed by a noun. See example below:

  • That sounds beautiful. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • That house is beautiful. (demonstrative adjective + noun)
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  • References
    • Olympiad Champs English Class 5 with Past Olympiad Questions 3rd Edition Demonstrative Adjective (By Disha Experts, p. 69)
    • English Grammar for Students of Chinese What is a Demonstrative Adjective(By Matthew B. Christensen, p. 93)

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