Spanish demonstrative adjectives and pronouns


While in English there are only two degrees of distance (here and there), in Spanish we have three degrees of distance: aquí (here), ahí (there), and allí/allá (there, but further than ahí).

First degree

Adverb: aquí (here)

Masculine singular: este (this)

Masculine plural: estos (these)

Feminine singular: esta (this)

Feminine plural: estas (these)

Neutral: esto (this)

Second degree

Adverb: ahí (there)

Masculine singular: ese (that)

Masculine plural: esos (those)

Feminine singular: esa (that)

Feminine plural: esas (those)

Neutral: eso (that)

Third degree

Adverb: allí / allá (there)

Masculine singular: aquel (that)

Masculine plural: aquellos (those)

Feminine singular: aquella (that)

Feminine plural: aquellas (those)

Neutral: aquello (that)

Demonstratives can be adjectives or pronouns. When they describe a noun, they are adjectives:

Esta casa es grande. Aquel piano es negro. (This house is big. That piano is black.)

When they are by themselves, they are pronouns. In this case, they often have an accent mark*:

Ésta es grande. Aquél es negro. (This one is big. That one is black.)

We use them as pronouns when we refer to something that we already mentioned, and they translate as this one, these ones, that one or those ones, respectively; we don't need to add uno/una.

*Esto, eso and aquello are always pronouns, and they never need an accent mark. In every other case, we traditionally add the accent mark to “label” the demonstrative as a pronoun, although it's not mandatory to do that anymore.

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