Demonstratives show where an object, event, or person is in relation to the speaker. They can refer to a physical or a psychological closeness or distance. When talking about events, the near demonstratives are often used to refer to the present while the far demonstratives often refer to the past.

Near the speaker Far from the speaker
Adverb Here There
Demonstrative with singular nouns
& uncountable nouns
This That
Demonstrative with
plural countable nouns
These Those


Near the speaker Far from the speaker
Is this John's house? Is that John's house over there?
This is a nice surprise! That must have been a nice surprise for you.
These apples are mine. Those apples are yours.
What are you up to these days? Those days are long gone.
This time I won't be late. We really surprised you that time.
This sugar is for my crepes. You can use that sugar for your cake.


Demonstratives can be placed before the noun or the adjective that modifies the noun.

  • This blue car needs to be washed next.
  • Those people were here first.
  • That metal rod should work.
  • These oranges are delicious.

Demonstratives can also appear before a number by itself when the noun is understood from the context.

  • I'd like to try on that one.
  • This one is broken.
  • I'll take these three.
  • Those two are not as pretty as these two.

Demonstratives can be used by themselves when the noun they modify is understood from the context.

  • I'll never forget this.
  • That has nothing to do with me.
  • I didn't ask for these.
  • Those aren't mine.
Indefinite articles (Prev Lesson)
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