What are demonstratives?
Demonstratives are words that show which person or thing is being referred to. In the sentence:
⇒ ‘This is my brother’,
⇒ ‘this‘ is a demonstrative
The demonstratives in English are this, that, these, and those
Demonstrative pronouns vs demonstrative adjectives
A distinction must be made between demonstrative adjectives (or demonstrative determiners) and demonstrative pronouns (or independent demonstratives).
A demonstrative adjective modifies a noun:
⇒ This apple is good. I like those houses. (This modifies ‘apple’ and those modifies ‘houses’)
A demonstrative pronoun stands on its own, replacing rather than modifying a noun:
⇒ This is good. I like those. (This and those don’t modify any nouns they stand alone and replace other nouns)
Use of demonstratives
Demonstratives differ according to:
distance: near or far,
or number: singular or plural.
Here are the main distinctions:
⇒ This modifies or refers to singular nouns that are near to the speaker.
⇒ That modifies or refers to singular nouns that are far from the speaker.
⇒ These modifies or refers to plural nouns that are near to the speaker.
⇒ Those modifies or refers to plural nouns that are far from the speaker.