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Demonstrative

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  • Demonstrative

    Demonstrative



    There are five demonstrative pronouns in English; this, that, these, those and the less common yonder(the latter is usually employed as a demonstrative determiner; even so it is rarely used in common English).


    This and these refer to nouns that are nearby in time or space. That or those refer to nouns that are further away in time or space. This and that refer to singular nouns; these and those refer to plural nouns.


    Demonstrative determiners and pronouns


    It is relatively common for a language to distinguish between demonstrative determiners (or demonstrative adjectives, determinative demonstratives) and demonstrative pronouns (or independent demonstratives).


    A demonstrative determiner modifies a noun:


    This apple is good.


    I like those houses.


    A demonstrative pronoun stands on its own, replacing rather than modifying a noun:


    This is good.


    I like those.


    As is obvious from the examples, English employs the same words for both types of demonstratives. Sometimes a difference is made specific by using the pronoun one (this one, those ones).


    This is not the case in many other languages.


    In Spanish the difference is less marked; except for the series of singular neuter independent pronouns (esto, eso, aquello), the rest of the demonstrative pronouns are identical to the corresponding determiners (except in writing, where a diacritic may be used to mark the pronouns).
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