Adjectives are common words that we regularly use to modify or intensify a noun or the subject of a sentence. These words can act upon anything, be it a person, animal, thing, or place.
However, there are different kinds of adjectives that perform unique functions. While their main aim is to modify the subject of a sentence, different adjectives are used in different contexts. A demonstrative adjective is one example. These are basically adjectives that intensify the nouns we are referring to and emphasize its importance.
There are certain rules that we need to follow in order to use demonstrative adjectives correctly. So let’s have a detailed discussion and understand them better.
What are Demonstrative adjectives?
Demonstrative adjectives are a type of adjectives that show which noun or pronoun is referring to and what its importance is. In simple words, by using demonstrative adjectives, we try to convey which noun or subject we mean.
Demonstrative adjectives identify nouns by realizing their positions or locations. It may be too far away or very nearby. And also, they identify nouns by the number or amount of them. It can be singular or plural.
Some of the common demonstrative adjectives are this, these, that, and those.
Now, “this” and “these” are used for nouns that are nearby or are the current matter. “This” is used when referring to singular nouns, and “these” is used when there are plural forms.
While “that” and “those” are used for nouns that are further away. “That” is used when referring to singular subjects, and “those” is applied when there are plural forms.
Let us understand with some examples;
- How much will this book cost?
- This day is all I want.
- These kids were playing all around.
Here, we are using this and these to modify a noun that is nearby or is the current matter. And these demonstrative adjectives indicate which thing or person we are talking about.
- That bird looks like an Eagle.
- I have that bag.
- Those kites are stuck in the tree.
Here, that and those are showing that nouns are far away and emphasize the particular nouns.
Difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns
These two concepts are often confused by people. It is because demonstrative pronouns use the same words such as this, that, those, etc.
However, it is grammatically incorrect to use them as the same in every context. There lies a minor difference. Demonstrative adjectives modify nouns. So they always precede the nouns. It means they modify the nouns that are present in the sentence. On the other hand, demonstrative pronouns are the words that are put in place of nouns. They are used for nouns that were previously known and are not present in the sentence.
Let us understand with some other examples;
- Wow, that piece of cake looks good. (Adjective)
- That looks so delicious. (Pronoun)
- I want to see those zoo animals again. (Adjective)
- I saw those yesterday. (Pronoun)
So we see, pronouns are not followed by nouns, whereas adjectives are.
These are the points that will help understand demonstrative adjectives. It is an easy concept, but people tend to confuse them a lot. Thus, one needs to be aware of these points. It will definitely help.