Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

demonstrative pronouns, demonstrative adjectives

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun.

A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun used to point something out. The demonstrative pronouns are this, that, these and those.

This vs. that

The singular demonstrative pronouns are this and that.

This is used to point out something near to the speaker in space or time:

  • I brought this from home.

That indicates something more distant:

  • My memory stick? I forgot that at home.

These and those

The demonstrative pronouns have plural forms, used to replace a plural noun. The plural of this is these:

  • I’ll take these. They’re perfect!

The plural of that is those:

  • Those are chameleons.

Demonstrative adjectives

The demonstrative pronouns can act as demonstrative adjectives when placed before a noun:

  • This house is my grandmother’s.
  • That car belongs to Joe.
  • I’ll take these sandals.
  • Those chameleons look a little off-colour; are they well?

Tip: Avoid using the redundant phrase these ones or those ones. Instead, simply use the demonstrative pronoun these or those.