Demonstrative adjectives: este, ese, aquel

Demonstrative adjectives (equivalent to “this” and “that”) change in Spanish according to the degree of distance in space or time. There are three of these:


Este móvil Estos móviles
Esta casa Estas casas

Medium distance

Ese árbol Esos árboles
Esa señora Esas señoras

Further away

Aquel día Aquellos días
Aquella casaAquellas casas

The demonstrative can:

  • Go before the noun it refers to.

¿Cuánto cuestan estas naranjas?

How much do those oranges cost?

¿Cuánto cuestan esos plátanos?

How much do those bananas cost?

  • Replace a noun referring to an object or person that has already been or is about to be mentioned. 

Esta es la foto que me gusta.

This is the photo that I like.

—¿Cuál es tu ordenador? —Es este.

-Which is your computer? -It's this one.

In both cases, it must agree with the gender and number of the noun.

Note: we use the neuter demonstratives esto, eso and aquello to replace something that has been said or whose name is not known.

No sé qué es eso.

I don't know what that is.

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