Languages › Spanish Demonstrative Adjective Grammar Glossary for Spanish Students Share Flipboard Email Print Aquella ventana siempre está abierta. (That window up there is always open.). Photo by Hernán Piñera; licensed via Creative Commons. Spanish Grammar History & Culture Pronunciation Vocabulary Writing Skills By Gerald Erichsen Spanish Language Expert B.A., Seattle Pacific University Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. our editorial process Gerald Erichsen Updated November 04, 2019 Definition An adjective that points out which item, object, person or concept is being referred to. In both English and Spanish, the same words are used for demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives, although in Spanish the masculine and feminine pronouns sometimes use an orthographic accent to distinguish them from the adjectives. In English, demonstrative adjectives always come before the nouns they refer to. In Spanish they usually do; placing the adjective afterwards, rare but more common in speech than writing, adds emphasis. Also Known As Adjetivo demostrativo in Spanish. They are sometimes called determinantes demostrativos or demonstrative determiners. The Complete Set of Demonstrative Adjectives English has four demonstrative adjectives: "this," "that," "these" and "those." In the masculine singular form, Spanish has three demonstrative adjectives: ese, este and aquel. They also exist in feminine and plural forms, for 12 in total, and must match the nouns they refer to in number and gender as shown in the chart below. English Spanish (masculine forms listed first) this este, esta that (somewhat distant) ese, esa that (more distant) aquel, aquella these estes, estas those (somewhat distant) eses, esas those (more distant) aquellos, aquellas Differences in English and Spanish The main difference in the way the two languages use demonstrative adjectives is that, as shown in the chart above, Spanish has three locations that the adjective can point to while English has two. Although ese and aquel are both translated as "that," ese can be thought of as referring to "that one" and aquel as "that one over there." Ese and its variations are more common than aquel and its variations. If you don't know which of the two to use, you're almost always safer with ese. Ese and aquel can also refer to things removed from the speaker in time. Aquel is especially common in referring to the distant past or to times that are significantly different than the present. Demonstrative Adjectives in Action Demonstrative adjectives are in boldface: ¿Qué tipo de adaptador utiliza esta computadora? (What type of adapter does this computer use? Te recomiendo estas canciones para la boda. (I recommend these songs for the wedding.) Nunca compraría ese coche. (I would never buy that car.) Esa semana trabajaron sin descanso. (That week they worked without rest.) Este restaurante del centro ofrece un ambiente relajado para un evento familiar o para una cena romántica para dos. (That downtown restaurant offers a relaxing atmosphere for a family event or for a romantic dinner for two.) Nunca puedo entender por qué aquella ventana siempre está abierta. (I can never understand why that window over there is always open.) Alemania ejercí mucha influencia sobre nuestro país durante aquellos años. (Germany exercised a lot of influence over our country during those years.) This and That in Spanish, or How To Use Demonstrative Adjectives How Is Spanish an Inflected Language? 10 Facts About Spanish Adjectives You Need To Know 13 Grammatical Mistakes To Avoid When Speaking Spanish All You Need To Know About ‘Todo’ in Spanish Shakira Lyrics Prompt Spanish Grammar Query Learn How To Use “Lo” in Spanish: Meaning Depends on Part of Speech 5 Ways of Saying "That" in Spanish How To Use Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish How Do You Us "Here" and "There" in Spanish? 4 Ways You Can Say “It” in Spanish What Are Some Common Irregular Past Participles in Spanish? All You've Wanted To Know About Counting to 10 in Spanish How To Use ‘Que’ and Other Relative Pronouns in Spanish How Spanish Past Participles Can Be Verbs or Adjectives What Are the Names of 60 Different Nationalities in Spanish?