Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish: basic grammar (A2)

Do you already know how to use demonstrative adjectives in Spanish? If your answer is “yes”, it is time to start working with the demonstrative pronouns or,  PRONOMBRES DEMOSTRATIVOS in Spanish. If not click on the link to learn about the adjectives first.

Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish chart

Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish

Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish (words that point out a specific person or thing) are identical to the demonstrative adjectives, as you can see in the grid above. Although pronouns agree in number and gender with the noun they replace.

Esta chaqueta y esa son de cuero (This jacket and that one are leather).

Estos libros y aquellos parecen más interesantes (These books and those look more interesting).

Sometimes you can see Spanish demonstrative pronouns written with an accent on the stressed syllable (over the first e in each word: éste, ése, aquél…), this is because years ago an accent was compulsory on the pronouns to avoid mistake them with the demonstrative adjectives, but not anymore. Spanish demonstrative pronouns must not be written with an accent!


Other ways to omit the name

The definite article (el, la, los, las) followed by “de” or “que” is often translated as a kind of demonstrative pronoun.

Mi corbata y la de mi hermano (my tie and that of my brother (my brother’s) ).

Este libro y el que tiene Juan son interesantes (This book and the one that Juan has (Juan’s) are interesting).


Neuter demonstrative pronouns

The neuter forms (eso, esto, aquello) are used when the gender is not determined or when referring to vague or general ideas, never to persons or specific things. These words do not vary in gender or number and no accent mark is required.

¿Qué es esto? (What is this?) [unknown].

Estoy enfermo y esto me molesta (I’m ill and this makes me angry) [general idea].


Former vs latter in Spanish

The pronoun este (-a, -os, -as) is used to translate the latter (the latest or most recently mentioned), while aquel (-lla, -llos, -llas) expresses the former (the most remotely mentioned).

Olga y Chema son hermanos; este es dentista, aquella es doctora (Olga and Chema are siblings; the former is a doctor, the latter is a dentist).

Note that in English, you begin with “the former,” but in Spanish, this order is reversed.


Spanish demonstrative pronouns exercises

Now is time for you to practice what you have learned with our quizzes below and remember to contact your tutor if you have any question about the Spanish demonstrative pronouns. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?


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