Unit 7.1

Demonstrative adjectives

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Introduction

The adjective [adjectivo] modifies the noun, indicating its characteristics or qualities.

Demonstrative adjectives [adjectivos demostrativos] are words that complement the noun and indicate that the person, animal, or thing is spoken of is near or far away.

Form

Demonstrative adjectives vary in gender and number. They always precede the noun, and in copulative sentences, they always precede the copulative verb. They are not used with articles.

Three types of demonstrative adjectives differ according to the distance of the object from the speaker:

The singular demonstrative adjectives according to gender are as follows:

Distancia Singular Masculino  Singular Femenino
Corta este esta
Media ese esa
Larga aquel aquella

The plural demonstrative adjectives according to gender as follows:

Distancia Plural Masculino  Plural Femenino
Corta estos estas
Media esos esas
Larga aquellos aquellas

Example

  • Este trabajo está muy bien pagado;
  • Ese ordenador que está junto a ti tiene instalado un editor de textos;
  • Aquel teléfono no para de sonar;
  • Esta estudiante quiere dedicarse a la abogacía;
  • Esa gaviota es la quinta que pasa volando;
  • Aquella empresa de allí es la primera que creó su padre;
  • Estos señores son los directores de la tienda;
  • Aquellas personas no tienen profesión.

Use

Demonstrative adjectives are used to point to a noun and determine the distance between the speaker and the person, animal or thing being talked about.

Different demonstrative adjectives are used in different situations:

  • este/-a/-os/-as: indicate proximity to the speaker;
  • ese/-a/-os/-as: indicate proximity to the listener;
  • aquel/-lla/-llos/-llas: indicate remoteness for both the speaker and the listener.

Summary

Demonstrative adjectives are used to indicate a distnce between people, things and what we are talking about. In Spanish, demonstrative adjectives vary in gender and number.

There are three types of demonstrative adjectives:

— Este/esta/estos/estas: immediate closeness for both the speaker and the hearer;

— Ese/esa/esos/esas: immediate proximity for the receiver of the message;

— Aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas: remotoness for both the speaker and the speaker’s interlocutor.

For example:
— «Este bolso es de Natalia». = El bolso is nearby;
— «Esa chica es mi amiga». = La chica is far away from the hearer;
— «Aquel bar me gustó». = El bar is far away for both the speaker and the hearer (in space and/or time).

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Related

The adjective modifies the noun, indicating its characteristics or qualities. They vary in gender and number and can be categorised into classes of adjectives.

Demonstrative adjectives complement the noun and indicate the closeness or remoteness of the person, animal or thing being talked about.

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