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Demonstrative Pronouns

What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?

A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that is used to point to something specific within a sentence. These pronouns can indicate items in space or time, and they can be either singular or plural.

When used to represent a thing or things, demonstrative pronouns can be either near or far in distance or time:

  • Near in time or distance: this, these
  • Far in time or distance: that, those

Because there are only a few demonstrative pronouns in the English language, there are just three simple rules for using them correctly. Remember them and you will have no difficulty using these surprisingly interesting parts of speech.

  • Demonstrative pronouns always identify nouns, whether those nouns are named specifically or not. For example: “I can’t believe this.” We have no idea what “this” is, but it’s definitely something the writer cannot believe. It exists, even though we don’t know what it is.
  • Demonstrative pronouns are usually used to describe animals, places, or things, however they can be used to describe people when the person is identified, i.e., This sounds like Mary singing.
  • Do not confuse demonstrative adjectives with demonstrative pronouns. The words are identical, but demonstrative adjectives qualify nouns, whereas demonstrative pronouns stand alone.

Demonstrative pronouns can be used in place of a noun, so long as the noun being replaced can be understood from the pronoun’s context. Although this concept might seem a bit confusing at first, the following examples of demonstrative pronouns will add clarity.

Demonstrative Pronouns Examples

In the following examples, demonstrative pronouns have been italicized for ease of identification.

This was my mother’s ring.

That looks like the car I used to drive.

These are nice shoes, but they look uncomfortable.

Those look like riper than the apples on my tree.

Such was her command over the English language.

None of these answers are correct.

Neither of the horses can be ridden.

 

Demonstrative Pronouns Exercises

The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how demonstrative pronouns work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.

  1. ____________ was such an interesting experience.
    1. That
    2. These
    3. Those
    4. Such
  2. Are ___________ your shoes?
    1. That
    2. Them
    3. Those
    4. This
  3. You’ll have to get your own pen. ______________ is mine.
    1. That
    2. Those
    3. Such
    4. This
  4. There is no end to ___________.
    1. Such
    2. Those
    3. This
    4. None
  5. Because of their bad behavior, ____________ of the children were given allowances.
    1. None
    2. That
    3. Those
    4. Them
  6. ____________ of them had seen it before.
    1. Those
    2. Neither
    3. Such
    4. This
  7. Is ____________ yours?
    1. This
    2. Those
    3. These
    4. Such
  8. Everyone ate early. When we arrived, ____________ was left.
    1. That
    2. Such
    3. None
    4. Neither
  9. Please give me one of ____________.
    1. That
    2. Those
    3. This
    4. Such
  10. ____________ are nice-looking.
    1. This
    2. That
    3. These
    4. Such
  11. Answers

    1. A – That was such an interesting experience.
    2. C – Are those your shoes?
    3. D – You’ll have to get your own pen. This is mine.
    4. C – There is no end to this.
    5. A – Because of their bad behavior, none of the children were given allowances.
    6. A – Neither of them had seen it before.
    7. A – Is that yours?
    8. C – Everyone ate early. When we arrived, none was left.
    9. B – Please give me one of those.
    10. C – These are nice-looking.

Demonstrative Pronouns List

Such

This

That

These

Those

None

Neither

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