Demonstrative Determiners for intermediate learners

Demonstrative determiners in English are this, these, that and those. They are used to identify the person or thing that is being referred to.

"Demonstrative Determiners" in English Grammar

What Are Demonstrative Determiners?

When we want to point to a particular thing or person, we use demonstrative determiners. These determiners can tell us about the distance and number. In other words, they can indicate whether something is near to us or far from us.

English Demonstrative Determiners

The table below distinguishes between English demonstrative determiners based on their number and distance:

Singular Plural
Close to us This These
Far from us That Those

Now, let us examine some examples:

This girl is so annoying.

Here, the determiner shows that the girl is near the speaker.

That car crashed into a tree yesterday.

Here, the determiner 'that' shows that the car is far from the speaker.

These potatoes are fresh. Try them.

Here, the determiner shows that the items are close to the speaker.

Those cakes look delicious.

Here, the determiner shows that the items are far from the speaker.


Please note that when these determiners are used alone and are not followed by a noun, they are no longer determiners. Instead, they function as demonstrative pronouns. Take a look at the following examples:

This is what I've been talking about all this time.

Those are yours, Molly.


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