Demonstrative pronouns in English (demonstrative pronouns / demonstratives) called pronouns, which indicate the person or object, or on their signs. Demonstrative pronouns in English a few: it (is), this (this, this, this), that (is one that), such (such like), the same (the same). The last two pronouns have the same form in the singular and plural. In this demonstrative plural form of the word represented by these (this), while the pronoun that — the word is those (ones).
Where to use demonstrative pronouns in the English language?
Demonstrative pronouns in English are similar, but sometimes different occurrences, so it is advisable to examine them separately. Let’s begin with the pronoun this (these). His we use in the following cases:
- When we are talking about people or things that are close to us (close to us). In order to emphasize that the object or person is closer to the speaker in time and space, the proposal this demonstrative pronoun is used an adverb here (here).
This is a desk. — This desk.
Have you seen this? — Did you see that?
This girl is here and she is waiting for you. — This girl here and she is waiting for you.
- When we are talking about the situation occurring in the present, or the one that happens in the future.
We are going to meet this week. — We’re going to meet this week.
I’ll choose the candidate for Prime Minister this month. — This month, I will call the candidate for the post of prime minister.
- When we refer to the idea that talking about (mention).
I do not want to discuss this but I have to. — I do not want to discuss it, but I have to.
Look at this! He seems to be looking for his money. — Look at it! I think he is looking for his money.
- When we represent the people (in the singles), or himself in a telephone conversation.
Hello! This is Kate! Can I speak to Mary? — Hi. This is Kate. Can I talk to Mary?
Jim, this is my wife Carol and this is her brother Ian. — Jim, meet: this is my wife Carol and her brother Ian.
- When the speaker is located near the site, which says.
This building is very old. — The building is very old.
These monuments are very famous. — These sites are very well known.
Let’s talk about the demonstrative pronoun that (those). Where can we meet him? In situations where:
- We’re talking about people or things that are far from us. In order to emphasize that the object or person is located far away from the speaker in time and space, the proposal this demonstrative pronoun is used adverb there (there).
I do not like this piece of cake. Give me that one, please. — I do not like this piece of the pie. Give me that, please.
Look at that! It’s a camel. — Look! There’s a camel.
- We are talking about a situation that occurred in the past.
In those days people did not have cars. — In those days, people did not have cars.
We made only four kilometers that day. — On the day we passed only four kilometers away.
- We refer to some information, which we mentioned earlier.
She got married a month ago. That’s wonderful! — She married a month ago. It’s fine!
I was invited to the party. That’s great! — I was invited to a party. It’s great (great)!
- We start talking on the phone and ask with whom we communicate.
Good morning! This is Brenda White. Who’s that speaking? — Good morning! It Brenda White! With whom am I speaking?
With this and that we have coped now say a few words about such a demonstrative pronoun in the English language as such and the same. Such pronoun is used with countable nouns in the singular, accompanied by the indefinite article: It’s such an important decision. — It is such an important decision. If the noun is plural, the article after pronouns such is not: Do not do such things! — Do not do this! The pronoun (the) same, in turn, is always used with the definite article: Underline the same word, please. — Please underline the same word.
The demonstrative pronoun it corresponds to the Russian pronoun «it».
What is it? — It’s my ring. — What is it? This is my ring.
Is it your passport? — It’s your passport?
Do not miss it! — Do not miss it!
If we are talking about a real physical body, or a particular concept, usually use the pronoun it. If you are talking about abstract concepts appeal to this / that. If Russian pronoun «it» refers to the person, it is translated into English by one of the personal pronouns, when the Russian proposal can be replaced within the meaning of «it» is a personal pronoun. If a replacement can not be done, «it» is translated to English pronoun it. For example:
I met her in Paris. It (she) is a beautiful and intelligent girl. — I met her in Paris. She is a beautiful and intelligent girl.
When I came home, I saw that someone was preparing dinner. It was the girl of my brother. — When I came home I saw someone cooking the dinner. It was my brother’s wife.
The functions of demonstrative pronouns in the English sentence
In English, the demonstratives can perform the function of various parts of the sentence, as follows:
- Subject to:
This is the main goal in my life. — This is the main goal in my life.
Are these his documents? — It’s his documents?
That’s my future husband. — This is my future husband.
She wrote me about this. — She wrote to me about it.
If you want to read an interesting book, take this. — If you want to read a good book, take this.
That’s just the case I would like to describe. — This is the case, I would like to explain.
Please note that the demonstrative pronoun that can also be translated by «this, this, this.» Selection of an appropriate transfer often depends on the meaning of the utterance.
Did not you like those dishes? — You did not like the dishes?
Do you know that man? — Do you know that man?
This suit is mine. — This is my costume.
Are you willing to meet these actors? — Do you want to meet with these actors?
It was such a terrible day. — It was such a terrible day.
I am not going to learn such difficult poems. — I’m not going to teach these difficult verses.
She is eager to speak the same language as I do. — She really wants to talk in the same language as me.
And finally, a little nuance. Demonstrative pronouns this (these), and that (those) used in the proposals of comparison and selection. In order not to repeat twice already said a noun, instead sometimes use the word one, which can be lowered. But if for such a demonstrative pronoun in the English language is an adjective, one (ones) becomes mandatory and integral part of the proposal.
Would you like to buy this hat or that (one)? — Would you like to buy this or that hat?
I do not want to buy this hat, I will take that blue one. — I do not want to buy this hat, I’ll take out the blue.
This topic is closely related to the other as described in the articles that need to pay attention:
- «The relative pronoun in the English language»
- «Interrogative pronouns in the English language»
After reading them, we recommend to pass the following test: «Test # 2 on the use of pronouns in the English language.»