What Are Demonstrative Determiners?

Demonstrative determiners are grammatical function words which help define the relationship between noun or pronoun with the speaker, and they are well known through the use of this, that, these, and those.

Demonstrative Determiners Words

  • This is used to express close things that are singular.
  • These is used to express close things that are plural.
  • That is used to express far things that are singular.
  • Those is used to express far things that are plural.


  • I used to live in this town.
  • That car is sold.
  • These cats are hungry.
  • Those children are smart.

As shown in the examples above, demonstratives come before a noun and they are called demonstrative adjectives. They always follow this formula:

Demonstrative adjectives + noun.

Now, consider the following examples:

  • This salad is good ➜ This is good.
  • That house is old ➜ That is old.
  • These napkins are dirty ➜ These are dirty.
  • Those windows are broken ➜ Those are broken.

From these examples we can learn that demonstrative can replace nouns, just like a pronoun, therefore they are called demonstrative pronouns. In other words, they follow this pattern:

Demonstrative adjectives – noun ➜ Demonstrative pronouns.

More examples:

Demonstrative Adjectives:

  • This flower is beautiful.
  • That car is brand new.
  • These shoes are mine.
  • Those pictures are great.

Demonstrative Pronouns:

  • This is beautiful. ➜ This is a beautiful song.
  • That is Amy’s. ➜ That is Amy’s car.
  • These are his. ➜ These are his pens.
  • Those are great. ➜ Those are great books.
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