“Adjetivos demostrativos,” or demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, indicate and specify nouns concerning the speaker and listener. They assist in determining the noun’s proximity to the speaker and if it is closer to the listener.

Demonstrative adjectives also indicate the gender and number of the noun they modify. In Spanish, demonstrative adjectives come in three sets: este, ese, aquel, and corresponding forms for singular and plural nouns.

Learn the essentials of Spanish demonstrative adjectives

Essentials of Spanish demonstrative adjectives: Roles, types and usage

Mastering Spanish adjectives can help you carry out conversations easily. The below section will highlight the role of Spanish demonstrative adjectives.

Role of demonstrative adjectives in Spanish

Adjectives that are demonstrative are used to highlight how close an object or objects are to the speaker and the listener. For example:

  • Este libro (This book): Indicates a book close to the speaker.
  •  Esa casa (That house): Indicates a house closer to the listener.
  • Aquellos niños (Those children): Indicates children far from the speaker and listener.

Moreover, within context, demonstrative adjectives aid in identifying the specific item or items being discussed.

Types of Spanish demonstrative adjectives

Singular demonstrative adjectives in Spanish

When employed in the singular form, demonstrative adjectives in Spanish aid in the specification of specific items or individuals. They express how close the noun they change is, to both the speaker and the listener.

FeminineMasculineEnglish equivalent
AquellaAquelThat, over there

Plural demonstrative adjectives in Spanish

Demonstrative adjectives, when used in plural, designate many distinct things, persons, or locations about the speaker and listener. When used in a plural context, they indicate how close the noun they modify is.

FeminineMasculineEnglish equivalent
AquellasAquellosThose (over there)
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How to choose the correct demonstrative adjective in Spanish?

The noun’s proximity to the speaker and listener determines which demonstrative adjective is appropriate in Spanish. These are the general guidelines and things to think about when choosing.

When to use este, esta, estos, estas

These demonstrative adjectives highlight proximity right away, pointing to things or people that are either within the speaker’s arm’s reach or clearly visible.

Whereas esta is used for singular feminine nouns like “Esta casa” (This house), este is used for singular male nouns like “Este libro” (This book).

For plural nouns, Estos is used with masculine words (e.g., “Estos niños” – These children), and Estas is used with feminine words (e.g., “Estas flores” – These flowers).

When to use ese, esa, esos, esas

These demonstrative adjectives are used to show objects or people near the listener, not too close to the speaker but within the listener’s visual or physical proximity.

Ese is employed for singular masculine nouns, for example, “Ese coche” (That car), and Esa for singular feminine nouns, such as “Esa película” (That movie).

In the plural form, Esos is used with masculine words (e.g., “Esos perros” – Those dogs), and Esas is used with feminine words (e.g., “Esas galletas” – Those cookies).

Use the correct demonstrative adjective in Spanish

When to use aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas

Aquel, aquella, aquellos and aquellas refer to objects or people that are far away from both the speaker and the listener. They emphasize a significant distance.

Aquel is used for singular masculine nouns, such as “Aquel edificio” (That building over there), indicating an object that is quite distant. Aquella is used for singular feminine nouns, for example, “Aquella montaña” (That mountain over there).

In the plural form, Aquellos is used with masculine words (e.g., “Aquellos árboles” – Those trees over there), and Aquellas is used with feminine words (e.g., “Aquellas islas” – Those islands over there).

Some examples using demonstrative adjectives in Spanish

Demonstrative AdjectiveSpanish example sentenceEnglish
EsteEste libro es interesante.This book is interesting.
EstaEsta casa es grande.This house is big.
EseEse coche es rápido.That car is fast.
EsaEsa película es emocionante.That movie is exciting.
AquelAquel edificio es antiguo.That building is old.
AquellaAquella montaña es alta.That mountain is high.
EstosEstos niños son juguetones.These children are playful.
EstasEstas flores son hermosas.These flowers are beautiful.
EsosEsos perros son simpáticos.Those dogs are friendly.
EsasEsas galletas son deliciosas.Those cookies are delicious.
AquellosAquellos árboles son altos.Those trees are tall.
AquellasAquellas islas son paradisíacas.Those islands are paradisiacal.

These are the essentials of Spanish demonstrative adjectives that you must learn. Remember, the best way to learn Spanish may vary but you must be consistent in your learning approach if you want to master Spanish vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. If you are looking for an authentic medium to master Spanish rules, we strongly recommend you explore italki to find the best Spanish tutor online.  

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Frequently asked questions

What are demonstrative adjectives in Spanish?

Demonstrative adjectives in Spanish (such as este, ese, aquel) are words used to indicate the location of a noun in relation to the speaker. They agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.

How many types of demonstrative adjectives are there in Spanish?

There are three main types of demonstrative adjectives in Spanish: este (this), ese (that), and aquel (that over there). Each type has singular and plural forms, as well as masculine and feminine forms.

How do you use demonstrative adjectives in Spanish?

Demonstrative adjectives are placed before the noun they modify. They must agree on gender and number with the noun. For example, “este libro” (this book), “esa casa” (that house), “aquellos perros” (those dogs).

Can you use demonstrative adjectives without a noun in Spanish?

Yes, demonstrative adjectives can be used without a noun to point out or emphasize something. For example, “¿Qué prefieres, este o aquel?” (Which do you prefer, this one or that one?)


Demonstrative adjectives in Spanish play a crucial role in indicating the location of a noun in relation to the speaker. They come in three main types (este, ese, aquel) and must agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. While they are typically placed before the noun, they can also be used without a noun to emphasize or point out something. It’s important to understand the rules for using demonstrative adjectives correctly to communicate effectively in Spanish. You can also explore different Spanish learning apps to understand these concepts.

Moreover, explore italki to find the best Spanish tutor online. Book your lessons and start learning Spanish grammar today!

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