To fully understand a demonstrative pronoun, you should first understand pronouns and their function. Pronouns are great because they substitute for nouns, so we don’t have to keep repeating ourselves. Look at these sentences: “Harry is so crazy. Harry doesn’t like chocolate but Harry loves pineapple.” Just in those two short sentences you can see that this is less repetitive and cumbersome: “He doesn’t like chocolate but he loves pineapple.”
Many pronouns are personal pronouns. They can be a subject of a clause or sentences, like: I, you, we, he, she, it, and they. An example would be: She went to the game.
Personal pronouns can also function as objects of prepositions or verbs, like: me, you, us, her, him, it, and them. Here’s an example: Betty gave the money to him.
Ownership is shown with the personal possessive pronouns: mine, yours, ours, his, hers, its, and theirs. There are two examples in this sentence: Is this book mine or yours?
The interrogative pronouns are used to ask a question. These are: what, whatever, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, and whomever. They start a question like: Whom will you take to the dance?
Indefinite pronouns refer to nouns in general. Some of them are: many, few, some, nobody, everyone, and all. An example is: Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.
The relative pronouns connect a clause to a noun or a pronoun. A few of these are: who, which, that, whomever, and whichever. In this sentence: “The person who rescues a cat is very special”, the relative pronoun “who” connects the clause “who rescues a cat” to the noun “person”.
Some pronouns emphasize the noun they are replacing. These are the intensive pronouns: yourself, yourselves, ourselves, myself, himself, herself, themselves, and itself. An example is: I myself am not concerned.
Reflexive pronouns reflect the action back onto the subject. These are: myself, himself, herself, itself, yourself, yourselves, ourselves, and themselves. Here is an example: I dyed my hair myself.
Lastly, demonstrative pronouns have the function of focusing attention on the nouns they replace. These are pronouns like: these, that, and such. Here’s an example: That was awesome! There will be more examples of demonstrative pronouns later on.
Since pronouns take the place of nouns, you need to understand what they are and their functions. Nouns name living and non-living things, places, and ideas. They function as subjects and objects, and also modify by being an appositive or possessive. They occasionally function as an adjective like in this sentence: The water pump is broken. The noun “water” modifies the word “pump”. They can also act like an adverb, like the noun “home” in this sentence: They drove home. “Home” tells where they drove.
Nouns can be grouped into common or proper nouns. Proper nouns are always capitalized and are specific, like Mississippi River or George. Common nouns name everything else, like water and parrots.
Nouns can also be grouped according to whether the things they name are physical or not. Concrete nouns refer to things that can be experienced with our senses; we can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell them. Abstract nouns are anything other than these nouns, such as: love, democracy, wisdom, anger, power, and prejudice.
Some of the other types of nouns are countable, like cars and beans; others are uncountable or mass nouns, like flour, gas, water, and rice. Collective nouns refer to a group or collection of things, like herd, department, jury, troupe, or team.
Everyone agrees that there are at least four demonstrative pronouns. These are: this, that, these, and those. “This” and “that” are singular and “these” and “those” are plural. Here are some examples specified by function:
These four are the most widely used demonstrative pronouns. However, there are three other words that are sometimes used: such, none, and neither. Examples are: