Demonstratives and Possessives

October 8, 2010pdf

Demonstratives

Demonstratives show where a person or thing is in relation to the speaker. There are four demonstratives in English – this, that, these and those.

This and these are used to refer to a person or thing near the speaker. This is used with a singular noun. These is used with a plural noun.

  • This is my bag.
  • This is my car.
  • These are my books.

That and those are used to refer to a person / persons or thing / things further away from the speaker. That is used with a singular noun. Those is used with a plural noun.

  • That is an apple.
  • Those are apples.

Position of demonstratives
Demonstratives can go in the following positions:
Before the noun.

  • This tree is taller than that tree.
  • This boy is smarter than that boy.

Before the word ‘one’.

This chair is larger than that one. (= This chair is larger than that chair.)

Before an adjective + noun.

I still remember that fateful day in February.

A demonstrative can be used alone when the noun is understood.

I will never forget that.

The Possessives

Possessives show who the thing belongs to. The possessive has two forms:

Possessive pronouns

Examples are: mine, yours, ours, theirs, his, hers and its

Possessive adjectives

Examples are: my, your, our, his, her, their and it.
Notes

The possessive adjectives are used to modify a noun.

  • Jane is my father’s colleague.
  • Susie is his friend.

The possessive pronouns can be the subject or the object of a verb or preposition.

  • That car is mine. (NOT That car is my.)
  • That is my car.
  • This is my car. Where is yours? (NOT Where is your?)
Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."