Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Demonstrative Determiners

Demonstrative Determiners refer to an individual, location, item, or article and specify their physical or psychological proximity to the speaker.

Demonstratives include: here, this, these, there, those, and that.

Demonstrative Determiners

Consider the following sentences as examples:

  1. Here are the products you requested. The word 'here' refers to the product's closeness to the speaker.
  2. This is a fantastic vehicle. 'This' means that either the vehicle is close to the speaker or he is currently looking at it.
  3. Only Lord knows what might happen to these helpless youngsters. 'These' is used again since the subjects being discussed, i.e. youngsters, are close to the speaker.

Here, this, these are demonstratives employed when the person speaking is close to them.

They can, however, also be used to signify the present.

Types of Demonstratives

DEMONSTRATIVES Near to us Far from us
Singular This That
This phone (here) That phone( there)
Plural These Those
These phones (here) Those phones (there)

Demonstrative Determiners

1. The Determiner of Singular Proximal Demonstrative

The very first demonstrative determiner is this. It is a singular proximal demonstrative determiner. Proximal implies "extremely close to." singular in number means that the antecedent pertains to only one individual, location, object, or idea.

2. Distal Singular Demonstrative Determiner

The 2nd demonstrative determiner is that. It is the singular distal demonstrative determiner. Distal implies "far away or remote from." singular pertains to the singular in number once more.

3. The Determiner of Plural Proximal Demonstrative

These, the plural proximal demonstrative determiner, is the third demonstrative determiner. The plural in number means that the antecedent pertains to two or more individuals, places, objects, or ideas. Again, proximal implies "extremely near or close to."

4. The Determiner of Plural Distal Demonstrative

The 4th demonstrative determiner is those. It is the plural distal demonstrative. Plural pertains to the multitude in numbers, and distal denotes "remote or far from."

Demonstrative Determiners


Demonstratives such as that, those which suggest a greater distance of subjects from the speaker can occasionally be employed to refer to the past. Examine the following example statements:

  1. That goes the Aircraft.
  2. Those are my friends on the balcony.
  3. Is that your car parked there ?
  4. That must have been an amazing experience.
  5. Those were happier times.
  6. Those days were far superior to these.
  7. That was an excellent speech.

Demonstratives can come before a noun or an adjective. For example, this vehicle, that black range rover, these gleaming gems, and so on. When the word is understood from circumstances, demonstratives can also be utilized.

As an example,

  1. This one was mine.
  2. This one is bitter.
  3. These are damaged.
  4. That is unimportant to me.
  5. Those are not my liabilities and tasks.

This and that are both singular, which means they only discuss one subject.

  • This term used for something near to us, whereas that term is used for something at a distance or far away.
  • These and those are both plural words that can be used to refer to a variety of items. These are for items/subjects near to us, while those are for items far away.

This, that, these, and those are the main demonstratives, indicating where items are and their quantity or how many of them are present. They all appear as preceding nouns in the instances above. Thus, they are determiners.

However, these four terms might be used without nouns as pronouns. They are known as demonstrative pronouns in this circumstance.

  1. This is a fantastic day.
  2. This is a frightening situation.
  3. Gentlemen are hard to come by these days.
  4. This is the time that have been waiting for months.

When we hear these sentences, we can imagine someone referring to or gesturing toward the water, phones, and shoes. By emphasizing what they're referring to, the listener understands which nouns the pronouns are substituting. As a result, they can employ pronouns rather than having to speak the nouns.

Determiners, "this," "that," "these," and "those": Which to Use

  • To begin, "this" and "that" are used to substitute singular or non-countable nouns (such as rain), and "these" and "those" are used to substitute plural nouns (like slippers).
  • Second, as we all know, determiners indicate where something is in relation to us. When something is close to us, we employ the term "this" and "these," and "that" and "those" whenever it is far away.
  • While pointing out anything near to us, we use "this" and "these," and when referring to something farther away, we employ "that" and "those."

What Is the Distinction Between Demonstrative Determiners and Demonstrative Pronouns?

While they are the same terms (this, that, these, and those), demonstrative determiners and demonstrative pronouns are used differently :

  • A demonstrative determiner is used in conjunction with a noun: that automobile, that red auto, those individuals, those old people, and so on.
  • A demonstrative pronoun is not used with a noun; it merely symbolizes a noun: that is correct, this smells excellent, those are large houses, and so on.


Is this stylus yours ? (demonstrative determiner)

Is this your phone ? (demonstrative pronoun)

These structures are extremely tall. (demonstrative determiner)

These are extremely tall structures. (demonstrative pronoun)

Note: Determiners indicate if a noun is general or specific. The presence of demonstrative determiners indicates that the noun or noun phrase is distinctive.

You employ a particular determiner once you know that the individual who is reading your texts or hearing you understands what you are referring to. In other terms, you have a clear antecedent.


In English grammar, demonstrative determiners are literally and metaphorically proximity determiners, indicating whether the distance is real (spatial deixis, relating to actual space) or subjective discourse deixis, implying to emotional space comprising of space resulting in from time. The demonstrative determiner is a grammatical type and so serve a determinative grammatical role.

Next TopicDeterminers Rules

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA