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Demonstrative Adjective

The main purpose of the demonstrative adjective is to allow a speaker to specify the exact object he is talking about, and to do so in relation to his own body. It is essentially a way of pointing at something with language. For example, if someone asks you which peaches you are talking about, then you could point at something and say, "those peaches". On the other hand, if the peaches were close at hand, you would instead say "these peaches". 

Demonstrative adjective vs. other adjectives

Are you curious about what specifically makes a demonstrative adjective different from other kinds of adjectives? The essential purpose of a demonstrative adjective is to mark out specific nouns from other nouns as the ones you are talking about within any given sentence. 

Obviously, the world is complex, made up as it is of an immense number of people, places, and things. But by using a demonstrative adjective such as "this" or "that" (or the plural forms "these" or "those"), you can clarify which specific nouns are currently occupying your attention.  

Using the term in everyday grammar

Here is an example of the demonstrative adjective being used properly in a sentence. 

"The woman was wondering about whatever happened to those books that she had ordered online."

The word "those" is the demonstrative adjective in this sentence. 

Now, here is an example of the demonstrative adjective being used incorrectly

"The man told the grocer that he wanted to buy these apples over here." 

This sentence is constructed awkwardly, because from the perspective of the narrator, the apples would be somewhere else. So, the proper phrase would be "those apples over there". 

In case you are still a little confused about how to use the demonstrative adjective, here are a couple rules you can follow. 

  1. When using the demonstrative adjective, you should keep perspective in mind. If an object is near you, then you may call it "this" one; but it is farther away from you, then it would be appropriate to say "that" one. The same goes for the terms "over here" and "over there". 
  2. Since the demonstrative adjective is in fact a form of adjective, it will always be associated with a particular noun. When you use it, imagine yourself pointing to an object somewhere in the world. For example, is someone asked you where the Moon is, you may point at the sky and say, "It is up there." This is basically how the demonstrative adjective always works.  

Adding more discription to words

The demonstrative adjective is a very simple part of speech, and there are only a few words that qualify within the category. Without it, though, it would become difficult to express some of even the most basic things that we would like to say in our everyday lives. For example, if someone were to ask you which drink you wanted to order, then you would need to use the demonstrative adjective in order to point at the menu and say, "This one." 

The demonstrative adjective is also a very good example of how proper language use can be relative to the position of your own body. For example, if someone asked where a soccer ball is and you had in your hands, you would say that it is over "here". If it is lying by itself on the other side of the field, though, you would need to say that it is over "there". In a way, then, it would be impossible to tell whether the demonstrative adjective is being used properly without some information about where the speaker is standing relative to the object he is talking about.

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