Pronouns: Demonstrative

Demonstrative pronouns stand in for a person, place or thing that must be pointed to. They may function as subjects, objects or objects of the preposition

When referring to a singular place, thing or idea use these demonstrative pronouns:

(Singular demonstrative pronoun)– This, That

As a subject:

  • This has been a difficult decade for the U.S. Presidency.
  • That is whom you should meet at the dinner at the Corcoran Gallery.

As a direct object:

  • Would you deliver this?
  • The demands on the President’s time had knocked that off the schedule.

As an object of the preposition:

  • Does the shirt you bough go with this?
  • Steve will put the new coat of paint on that if it’s necessary.

When referring to a plural place, thing or idea use these demonstrative pronouns:

(Plural demonstrative pronoun)– These, Those

As a subject:

  • These are the preferred pens in this department.
  • Those attempting to purchase handguns must wait seven days.

As a direct object:

  • Will Alan find these in time?
  • Beth donated those to the team.

As an object of the preposition:

  • Please climb over these before you continue the course.
  • Chris can work with those.

Remember just like other pronouns, a demonstrative pronoun stands in for a noun. The same words that act as demonstrative pronouns may act as adjectives when they are used to modify a noun rather than stand in for it. For example:


Demonstrative pronoun:

  • This will lead us to the car.


  • This path is taking us in the wrong direction.


Demonstrative pronoun:

  • That is not the best approach.


  • That approach will not work.


Demonstrative pronoun:

  • Those will work just fine.


  • Those plants were damaged by the frost.


Demonstrative pronoun:

  • These look edible.


  • These berries are delicious.

Related posts:


  1. lucy egwa says

    the information about pronouns was helpful but i have not understood about adjectives standing in for pronouns

  2. says

    Perhaps the easiest way to tell the difference between a pronoun and an adjective is to remember that the pronoun replaces the noun. It does not modify it. So in the sentence “I want to donate those books” THOSE does not replace the noun BOOKS, it modifies it. On the other hand, in the sentence “I want to donate THOSE” the pronoun THOSE replaces the noun BOOKS.

  3. Jean says

    Thank you for this great article! :)

    Just a typo (double article):
    “Steve will put the a new coat of paint on that if necessary.”

  4. H K says

    Can a demonstrative pronoun replace a group of words?
    For instance:
    Calling your mother was a good idea.
    That was a good idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *