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What are Demonstrative Pronouns? (Definition, Examples, How to Use)

A demonstrative pronoun is a type of pronoun that is specifically used to point toward any person or object. It is implied that it can also point toward multiple or a group of persons as well as objects.

What is a demonstrative pronoun? A simple definition

A simple definition would be: it is a kind of pronoun that represents and replaces a noun along with the indication of its relative position. Take, for instance, a Ferrari car that is parked very near to where you are standing right now. You say “This is a Ferrari.

Demonstrative pronouns
Demonstrative pronouns

On the other hand, you would address a Lamborghini that is parked across the street as: “That is a Lamborghini”. In the above two examples the pronouns ‘this’ and ‘that’ are the demonstrative pronouns.

The list of demonstrative pronouns is as follows:

1)     This (Singular)

2)     That (Singular)

3)     These (Plural)

4)     & Those (Plural)

5)     Such (Singular and plural)

6)     None (Singular and plural)

7)     Neither (Only Singular)

‘These’ and ‘those’ are used in the same way as ‘this’ and ‘those’ but in the plural sense. And the first four pronouns in the list are the most widely used. The last three, ‘such’, ‘none’, and ‘neither’ are the less widely used demonstrative pronouns.

Examples of demonstrative pronouns in sentences

Just like other pronouns, demonstrative pronouns too are used in place of nouns or phrases. They replace these nouns or phrases and can be used independently.


  • “Remember the violet Maserati we saw near the city center yesterday? Can you describe that again for me in detail? “ (Singular)
  • “I am going to get myself new denim pants. These are getting pretty worn out.” (Plural)
  • “I don’t have the slightest guess what this could mean.” (Singular)
  • “I guess this stereo will be the least expensive among those on display.” (Plural)
  • “You remember the lads that turned up at the interview yesterday? None of them were selected.” (Plural)
  • “If such is the condition of the dormitory, the boys are definitely going to rebel.” (Singular)
  • Such are the achievements of the army’s mountaineering team.” (Plural)
  • Neither of the couple listens to the other.” (Singular)

What is a demonstrative example?

The word ‘demonstrative’ is an umbrella term that commonly refers to words that denote a person, persons, an object, or objects. It includes demonstrative adjectives, also known as demonstrative determiners, and demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstrative pronoun example
Demonstrative pronoun example

How do you use demonstrative in a sentence?

The usage of demonstratives can be best illustrated with the following examples:

  • Can you pick that book over there for me?” (Demonstrative Adjective)
  • “That book over there, can you pick that for me?” (Demonstrative Pronoun)
  • These oranges look ripe and enticing.” (Demonstrative Adjective)
  • “Of all the oranges in the garden, these look ripe and enticing.” (Demonstrative Pronoun)

Demonstrative pronoun vs. demonstrative adjective

The four primary demonstrative pronouns ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘these’, and ‘that’ can also be used as demonstrative adjectives. This can be a bit confusing, but with proper clarity, the doubts can be dispelled.

An adjective is a word that defines a noun or its quality. A pronoun on the other hand replaces a noun.

Likewise, a demonstrative adjective is an adjective that also points to a noun indicating its relative nearness. Here, the demonstrative adjective has to be used along with the noun.

Example: These horses represent the finest breed from Arabia.”

‘These’ is used along with and to indicate the noun ‘horses’, and hence acts as an adjective.

Now consider this example:

  • “Of the entire race horses summoned here, these are the finest breed from Arabia.”

In this above example, ‘these’ replaces the noun ‘horses’, and hence acts as a pronoun. Thus, a demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that also points toward a noun (or nouns) indicating its relative nearness.

Therefore, we have seen that the four primary demonstrative pronouns also act as demonstrative adjectives.


How many demonstrative pronouns are there?

As discussed earlier, there are four primary demonstrative pronouns. They are this, that, these, and those.

Out of these, this and that are singular demonstrative pronouns, and these and those are pluralistic demonstrative pronouns. There are three more demonstrative pronouns that are less widely used. They are such, none, and neither.

Out of these, such and none are used in both singular and pluralistic forms. Neither is used as singular alone.

Are demonstrative pronouns the same as demonstrative determiners?

No. Demonstrative pronouns are not the same as demonstrative determiners.

Demonstrative determiners are adjectives, and they are used along with nouns to define them.

Demonstrative pronouns, on the other hand, are pronouns that are used instead of the nouns that they replace.

Are demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives the same?

It’s easy to confuse demonstrative pronouns with demonstrative adjectives. They’re similar, but a demonstrative pronoun stands alone, while a demonstrative adjective qualifies a noun.



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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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