Demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) are words which indicate a specific noun. Spanish demonstrative adjectives are more complicated than their English counterparts, because there are three different sets, as explained below. Remember that all Spanish adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.
The three sets of Spanish demonstrative adjectives are este ("this" – something near the speaker), ese ("that" – something near the listener), and aquel ("that" – something 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 one place word.
|este||aquí or acá||here|
|aquel||allí or allá||over there|
Demonstrative Adjectives Quiz
Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on Spanish demonstrative adjectives with this fill-in-the-blank exercise: Un viaje a Egipto
- Demonstrative Adjectives (PPT, 8th grade to higher ed)
- Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns (Lesson, 6th-12th grade)