Demonstrative Adverbs

Demonstrative adverbs emphasize the location of something in relation to the speaker. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Demonstrative Adverbs in English Grammar

What Are Demonstrative Adverbs?

Demonstrative adverbs are used to indicate the location or direction of something relative to the speaker. Always remember that these adverbs follow a noun.

Demonstrative Adverbs: Types

There are two types of demonstrative adverbs in English. One is used to emphasize the time and the other is used to emphasize the place of someone or something. Take a look at the list below:

  • Demonstrative Adverbs of Time
  • Demonstrative Adverbs of Place

The table below presents the four demonstrative adverbs in English and their categories:

Near Far
Place Here There
Time Now Then

Take a look at some examples:

These books here are yours, Sicily.

That mansion there is my friend's.

Demonstrative Adverbs: Uses

Using "here" as a demonstrative adverb

Demonstrative Adverbs of Time

Demonstrative adverbs of time can be used to specify the timing of an action and include 'now' and 'then'.

Now

'Now' is used to indicate the present moment in time, specifically at the time of speaking. For example:

Carol would want to talk to you now.

Here, the action is happening in the present moment.

Then

We can use 'then' to point to a particular time in the past or future. For example:

I wish I knew then what I know now.

It was then that I figured out his intentions.

Demonstrative Adverbs of Place

Demonstrative adverbs of place, such as 'here' and 'there', are often used in conjunction with demonstrative pronouns 'this,' 'that,' 'these,' and 'those' to indicate the location of something or someone. These adverbs are not typically used directly before a noun, but rather function to emphasize the place being referred to. Now let us examine how each one is used:

Here

'Here' as a demonstrative adverb of place can be used to emphasize the location of people or things that are near to us. When accompanied by a demonstrative pronoun, 'here' is typically used with 'this' when referring to a singular noun, and 'these' when referring to plural nouns. Let us take a look at the following examples:

This gown here suits you a lot.

As you can see, if you remove the adverb, the sentence is still complete and meaningful.

Maria told me these CDs here are yours.

There

In contrast to 'here,' when we want to emphasize the location of something or someone that is far away from us, we typically use the demonstrative adverb 'there'. Pay attention to the following examples:

Look at that café there! It's so gothic.

Caroline is going to that bank there.

Archaic Adverbs

Some adverbs in Old English could be classified as demonstrative adverbs. However, these adverbs are now considered archaic and are not commonly used by native English speakers today. Take a look at the table below to become familiar with them:

Place Time
Near Hither Hence
Far Thither Thence

In ancient times, the adverbs 'hither' and 'thither' were used in place of 'here' and 'there'. 'Hither' was used to refer to people or things that were near to us, while 'thither' was used to refer to people or things that were far away. Compare the following examples:

Come hither, young lad!

Here, it means 'come here'.

The sailors set their course thither.

Here, the sentence means look over there.

'Hence' and 'thence' were mainly used to discuss time. 'Hence' means 'from now' and 'thence' is its past form.

The government has improved their methods. Hence, the financial condition is getting better.

She decided to visit her aunt thence head home.

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