Demonstrative pronouns are single demonstrative words that replace a noun or a noun phrase. Their function is to define the noun they refer to and agree in gender and number with it.
In order to get a deepen insight into the demonstratives, today our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem, will provide its students with an overview of the pronouns.
If you want to discover more about this topic, do not miss the post below 😉
Similarly to the demonstrative adjectives, the demonstrative pronouns express a quality of the object, concept or person they refer in terms of distance in time and/or space.
From one side, they are exactly the same as the adjectives. Therefore we can distinguish them for their function in the sentence, as they replace the noun.
Esa es la casa más antigua del pueblo = That is the oldest house of the villlage.
Hay dos sillas en el salón. Aquella es muy vieja y la tiramos = There are two chairs in the hall. That one over there is really so we can throw it away.
To properly choose which of them to use with regard to the position (ESTE or ESE or AQUEL), you have just to follow the same rules of the demonstrative adjectives. Just remind they are NOT followed by any noun.
The neuter form of the demonstrative pronoun.
The neuter form can be used only in singular and only as pronoun. That is because there are no neuter nouns in Spanish language.
The neuter forms are:
ESTO (this one) >ESO (that one) > AQUELLO (that one over there)
In Spanish the neuter form of the demonstrative pronoun is used to point out something in relation to its location. Furthermore, they are used in the following specific situations:
1. When we do not know the name of the thing we refer to because
> The speaker does not know the name of the object.
¿Me pasas el …..lighter?¿Cómo se dice eso en español? = Can you pass me the….lighter? How do you say that in Spanish?
> The speaker does not know exactly what is the thing he/she refers to.
¿Qué es eso que está en la caja? No lo veo bien desde aquí = What is that thing in the box? I cannot see it from here.
2. The name of the object is not relevant in the speaker’s speech.
Yo creo que podemos tirar todo esto a la basura = I think we can throw all these things away.
In this case the speaker refers generally to a bunch of objects.
Yo llevo esto, tú eso y María aquello = I bring this, you bring that and Maria that one over there.
The speaker does not need to name all the objects, as he/she is pointing to each of them.
3. The pronoun replaces an intangible thing, like:
> a FACT
Es que lo he dado todo por él y no me hace ni caso. Eso no lo entiendo = I have given everyhing for him but he does not care. I cannot understand that.
> a SITUATION
Durante mi intervención en la conferencia nadie estaba escuchando. Aquello me puso muy incómoda = When I was speaking at the conference, nobody was listening. That made me feel very uncomfortable.
> WORDS that have just been said in a conversation
– Estoy pensando en tomarme un año sabático.
– ¿Por qué dices eso?
– I am planning to have a gap year.
– Why do you say that?
We NEVER use the neuter form of the demonstrative pronoun to speak about a person.
The demonstrative pronouns do NOT carry diacritical mark as they can be easily distinguished from the adjectives due to the context.
We hope this post will help you with your Spanish studies.
Finally, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem encourage you all to keep learning and practice Spanish in classroom and outside.
Have a good day and till the next blog!