Demonstratives are words that show which person or thing is being referred to. In the sentence:
'This is my brother',
'this' is a demonstrative
The demonstratives in English are this, that, these, and those
A distinction must be made between demonstrative adjectives (or demonstrative determiners) and demonstrative pronouns (or independent demonstratives).
A demonstrative adjective modifies a noun:
This apple is good. I like those houses. (This modifies 'apple' and those modifies 'houses')
A demonstrative pronoun stands on its own, replacing rather than modifying a noun:
This is good. I like those. (This and those don't modify any nouns they stand alone and replace other nouns)
Demonstratives differ according to:
- distance: near or far,
- or number: singular or plural.
Here are the main distinctions:
- This modifies or refers to singular nouns that are near to the speaker.
- That modifies or refers to singular nouns that are far from the speaker.
- These modifies or refers to plural nouns that are near to the speaker.
- Those modifies or refers to plural nouns that are far from the speaker.
Demonstratives Singular Plural Near Far This - - That - - These - - Those - -