Demonstrative pronoun

From Teflpedia

A demonstrative pronoun (/dəˈmɒnstrətɪv ˈprəʊnaʊn/ is a demonstrative used as a pronoun. English has four demonstratives; this, that, these and those, and they can all be used as subjects or objects.

Meaning[edit | edit source]

They make reference to (1) deixis (being either close to or distant from the speaker) and (2) grammatical number (being either singular or plural).

Form[edit | edit source]

There are four of these in English:

Type Singular Plural
Proximate this these
Distant that those

These can be used both as dependent pronouns and independent pronouns, as respectively dependent demonstrative pronouns and independent demonstrative pronouns. For example, This is heavy (independent); This table is heavy (dependent).

They can be used as subjects or objects in a sentence. e.g. "That is the one I want" or "I want that".


Note that that also has other functions in English.

Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Students may struggle with the voiced dental fricative /ð/ sound.

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

This language is typically taught at beginner level. EFL learners may not acquire all four pronouns at once, and may acquire the more common ones first (this and that) before moderately common these and less common those.