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A Beginner’s Guide to Demonstrative Pronouns

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While speaking and writing, we often use the words “this”, “that”, these”, and “those”. While it is evident that these words are pronouns, a lot of us do not know what kind of pronoun these words are. Well, as you have already read the title, let’s no build any more suspense. The aforementioned words are demonstrative pronouns that are used to point at something within a sentence. As you can guess, they can be either singular or plural.

Typically, demonstrative pronouns represent a thing or things. They indicate items in space or time. While referring to item(s) near in time or distance, you need to use “this” or “these”. For the item(s) far in time or distance, you need to use “that” or “those”.

Rules of Using Demonstrative Pronouns

Since there are a few demonstrative pronouns in the English language, the rules for their correct usage are also very few. While using the demonstrative pronouns in your writing or speech, remember the following rules:

  1. Demonstrative pronouns always identify nouns, whether the nouns are named specifically or not. For example: “I am tired of this.” From this sentence, it is not clear what the writer is tired of, but it is something that exists. Our knowledge of its existence does not change what the pronoun is referring to.
  2. Demonstrative pronouns are typically used for describing animals, places, or things. However, such pronouns can be used to describe people as well, as long as the person is identified. For example: “That sounded like something Sam would say.”
  3. Do not confuse demonstrative adjectives with demonstrative pronouns. The words are similar, but demonstrative adjectives qualify nouns, while demonstrative pronouns stand apart.

It is important to note that demonstrative pronouns can be used in place of a noun, as long as the noun that is being replaced can be understood from the context of the pronoun. You should get English assignment help. While it may sound a bit confusing in the beginning, but the examples that we are about to share will give you some clarity about the demonstrative pronouns.


  • This is not what I was expecting.
  • Those apples were not looking good.
  • This will help me get going for another month.
  • These look really nice on you.

Make Sure the Link to the Antecedent of the Demonstrative Pronoun Is Obvious

Generally, the antecedent of a demonstrative pronoun is closed by in the previous text. In the following two examples, the links to the antecedents (highlighted in bold) are not ambiguous.

  • The football match is technically over. This is now a one-sided game.
  • I used to be good at athletics. That is no longer the case.

You need to make sure that the antecedent to your demonstrative pronoun is clear. However, the thing that the demonstrative pronoun represents can come after the pronoun. When that happens, it is called a “postcedent” and not an antecedent.

  • That is why they have military force – so there can be peace.

The most common writing issue involving a demonstrative pronoun is a weak, ambiguous, or non-existent link to its antecedent. That is why it is called a “faulty pronoun reference” at times.

That is all that you need to know about demonstrative pronouns. However, it is better to solve some exercises on these demonstrative pronouns if you really want to use them correctly in your writing. Also, you can write your sentences without using such pronouns as they often create confusions when the antecedent is not clear. Grammar checker tool is a good option to check the grammar of your sentences.

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Apart from demonstrative pronouns, there can be several other areas in the English language that you are not aware of. So, if you do not feel confident about drafting the due assignment paper, you can get the necessary help from experts. Our experts are skilled writers with advanced knowledge of respective subject areas. Also, when you avail assignment help from them, you get a number of additional benefits, including:

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Jack Williams

I am Jack Williams, a Biochemist by profession. However, I developed a flair for writing while working on my Bio dissertations at university. So, I decided to take his passion to another level by stepping into the field of English essay writing. Ever since I have not only been learning the essentials of English writing but also been sharing my learning with students. My blog posts are intended to help not only students learn the technicalities of essay writing but also enable them to face related changes head-on. When I am not researching in my lab or sharing my valuable learning, you can find me playing soccer with my buddies or painting something that touched my heart and inspired me. 

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