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Demonstrative adjectives (this, that) are used to indicate a specific noun or nouns. In Spanish, they must agree with the noun(s) in number and gender.
|Este árbol es bonito||This tree is cute.|
|Aquellas montañas son altas.||Those mountains are tall.|
Characteristics of demonstrative adjectives
- Used in place of an article, not with one
- Placed directly in front of a noun or an adjective + noun
- Agree with the demonstrated noun in number and sometimes gender
- Demonstrative adjective + noun can be replaced by a demonstrative pronoun
Spanish demonstrative adjectives
There are three sets of Spanish demonstrative adjectives:
- este – this (near the speaker)
- ese – that (near the listener)
- aquel – that (far from both the speaker and listener).
Because both ese and aquel mean "that," I’ve added phrases into the English translations in order to clarify the difference between these two demonstrative adjectives.
|Este profesor habla mucho.||This teacher talks a lot.|
|Esa camisa es bonita.||That shirt (you’re wearing) is pretty.|
|Aquellos estudiantes no comprenden.||Those students (over there) don’t understand.|
|Esta chica está lista.||This girl is ready.|
|Esos libros son estúpidos.||Those books (you just picked up) are stupid.|
|Me gusta aquella casa.||I like that house (on the other side of the street).|
Note: Each set of Spanish demonstrative adjectives corresponds with at least adverb of place.
|este||aquí or acá||here|
|aquel||allí or allá||over there|
Demonstrative Adjectives Quizzes
Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on Spanish demonstrative adjectives:
- Demonstrative Adjectives (PPT, 8th grade to higher ed)
- Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns (Lesson, 6th-12th grade)
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