Demonstrative adjectives Spanish: este, ese, aquel & 9 more powerful words … + AUDIO

THIS & THAT in Spanish: How to use ESTE, ESE, AQUEL (Demonstrative Adjectives)

There are lots of Spanish words for THIS and THAT in Spanish like este, estos, esos, esta, estas, ese, aquel and many more. All of these are called demonstrative adjectives Spanish!

Confused yet? No worries! Spring Spanish teacher, Paulisima en ESTE video will clear it all up for you. And as a bonus, you might become karaoke royalty in the Spanish-speaking world. Want to see why?! ¡Empecemos!

I. The 3 main demonstrative adjectives Spanish: Este, ese, aquel & 9 more! 

Hay tres adjetivos demostrativos “principales”. Vamos a verlos describiendo una palabra masculina: el perfume. (There are 3 “main” demonstrative adjectives. We’re going to see them used with a masculine word: the perfume)

demonstrative adjectives spanish examples with female teacher on the right side
  • este perfume (this perfume)
  • ese perfume (that perfume)
  • aquel perfume (that perfume over there)

BUT…because in Spanish we like to overcomplicate things, these adjectives can have different endings depending on the number and gender of the word they refer to. 

So in total these adjectives have twelve forms. 


demonstrative adjectives spanish examples in table

¿Se ve un poco confuso, no? ¡No te preocupes! Vamos a ir uno por uno, con ejemplos para que no tengas que volver a pensar en esta tabla. (Looks a little bit confusing, right? Don’t worry! We’ll go through them one by one, with examples so you never have to think about this table again.)

II. Gender, number and distance (Género, número y distancia)

There are three things to remember when it comes to the Spanish version of THIS and THAT. More examples are coming up!

demonstrative adjectives spanish gender number and distance

1. Gender

In Spanish things, nouns can be either feminine or masculine. There are a few tricks to get them right, as you’ve learned from María Fernanda:

“It is more likely that if it ends with an O…”

So… el pasaporte (the passport) → este pasaporte (this passport)

But la pluma (the pen) → esta pluma (this pen) 

2. Number – Singular / Plural

Just like in English, in Spanish things can be either singular or plural, and we do this by adding an ‘s’ sound at the end of the words. The demonstrative adjective must show this difference in number  

  • Este perfume es mi favorito. (This perfume is my favorite.)  → Es un perfume (it is a perfume) so we use este.
  • Estos perfumes son mis favoritos. (These perfumes are my favorite.)  → Es más de uno, son dos y por eso usamos estos, estos perfumes son mis favoritos. (It is more than one, it is two and that is why we use estos
  • Aquellas cosas que más recuerdo… (Those things that I remember the most…)  → So we have several things, several cosas. Feminine, so aquellas.

3. Distance

ESTE, ESTOS, ESTA, ESTAS the ones that have a ‘t’ in it, are the ones that refer to stuff that is right here. Think about it as ‘t’ marks the spot. 

ESE, ESOS, ESA, ESAS, the ones featuring a middle ‘s’ are to talk about things that are not HERE but THERE. 

Then we have AQUEL, AQUELLA, the odd ones, those are used to talk about things that are even further away. ¡Ojo! (Attention) It could be further away in time and emotionally too! We use it to evoke things that are in great distance from us. Like a cloud or our childhood.  

Now let’s have some fun learning full phrases and chunks of Spanish that will help you imprint these crazy little words on your brain. 

III. Este, esta, estos, estas (This – These)

demonstrative adjectives spanish este esta estos estas

Empecemos con ‘este’ (Let’s start with ‘este’) and all of the other forms this adjective can take.

  • Este arroz ya se coció. (This rice is done already.)

Check out Mexican president using this jewel of a chunk, that’s actually a Mexican proverb, to talk about a done deal: 

  • Entonces, yo creo que este arroz ya se coció. (So, I think this is a done deal – literally: this rice is done already.)

El arroz: singular, masculine, and right here, soeste arroz”

By the way, here’s a useful way to learn these patterns by heart: create a cloze card! A flashcard with the full sentence in Spanish and the demonstrative adjective blanked out. 

Like this:

 ​​___________ (This rice) ya se coció.
Este arroz ya se coció.
(This rice is done/cooked already.)

Remember, EL arroz is masculine, that’s why we say ESTE arroz. What about the plural? ESTOS. Let’s be all millennial and be like:

  • ¡Ay! ¡Estos niños de ahora! (Oh! These kids nowadays!)
  • Estos niños de ahora… puro con el celular. (These kids nowadays…hooked to the cellphone.)
  • Estos niños de ahora. ¿Qué es eso de Tit Tok? (These kids nowadays. What is that Tik Tok thing?)

Now… How do you say “this time” in Spanish? 

If you say “este tiempo” you were absolutely wrong. Lo prometido es deuda. (What’s promised is debt.) I told you after watching this video you’ll have everything you need not only to master los adjetivos demostrativos sino que además (the demonstrative adjective but also) I would share what you need to to bring out your inner diva whenever you come to a Mexican or Latin American karaoke bar! 

Let’s bring in Mexican national treasure Lupita D’Alessio to talk about ESTA. In Spanish, to say “THIS TIME” we say: Chunk alert ESTA VEZ. Let your inner telenovela character come out and repeat after mí: 

  • Esta vez sí se acabó. (This time is truly over.)

ESTA, esta vez is used for singular feminine things that are right here. The plural would be estas. Para este ejemplo vamos a matar dos pájaros de un solo tiro (For this example we are going to kill two birds with one stone.) and I’m going to teach you a word that is actually hard to master in Spanish… 

Con estas ganas, de tenerte, de mirarte, de besarte… (With these desires to have you, to look at you, to kiss you..) Con ESTAS ganas, with this “wantings” (yearning/ longings). Such a romantic phrase, but you can also use it casually:


¿Qué onda amiga? ¿Qué haces?
(What’s up friend? What are you doing?)
Ay amiga, aquí trabajando con este clima lluvioso. Ya sabes ¿y tú?
(Oh friend, here just working with this rainy weather. You know…and you?) 
¡Yo también estoy trabajando y con estas ganas que tengo de ir a la playa! 
(I’m working, too, and with this desire to go to the beach!)

IV. Ese, esa, esos, esas (That – Those)

Now let’s talk about those things that are a bit further away from us. If so far you’re liking ESTE video do subscribe to our channel so Spring Spanish continues creating more content to accompany you in your journey to become fluent en el idioma más bonito del mundo que es el español y todo el mundo lo sabe (in the most beautiful language in the world that is Spanish and the whole world knows it.) 

Let’s start with ESE and one more time we’re giving it up to Lupita D’Alessio with a karaoke classic. 

  • Ese hombre. (That man over there.)
  • Ese hombre que tú ves ahí… ESE hombre que tú ves ahí, ahí, no aquí, ahí. (That man that you see over there… THAT man that you see there, there, not here, there.)

Hombre is singular masculine, so yes: ese hombre.

What about esa mujer? Now it’s La Chica Dorada de México, the one and only Paulina Rubio! With this beautiful phrase: 

  • ¡Yo no soy esa mujer que no sale de casa! (I’m not that woman that doesn’t leave home!)

And if my mom was here, she’d say:

  • ¡Peque! ¡Bájale a esa cosa! (Peque! Turn that thing down!) 

All this karaoke got me hungry, come with me to my happy place. 

  • Miren les muestro. Los de hasta allá, aquellos. Aquellos tacos son de carnitas. (I show you. These tacos are from head and those, those are de pastor. Those up there, those. Those tacos are carnitas.)

Apréndanse este chunk: 

  • ¿De qué son? (What are they of?)
  •  ¿De qué son estos tacos? (What are these tacos made of?)
  • ¿De qué son esos tacos? (What are those tacos made of?)
  • ¿De que son aquellos tacos? (What are those tacos over there made of?)

What about ESAS? 

  • ¡Esas salsas están bien ricas! (Those salsas are very good!)

V. Aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas (That one – Those ones)

Now for this one, let’s do one that you might know: 

  • “Aquel de ustedes que esté libre de pecado, que tire la primera piedra.” (“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”)

Singular plural, is aquel. Remember, aquel, aquellos, etc. are used to talk about something at a distance. Let’s say… our time in highschool.

  • Aquellos días… Fueron los mejores de mi vida. ¡No, no es cierto! Estos días son los mejores días de mi vida! (Those days.. Were the best days of my life. No, that’s not true! These days are the best days of my life!)

What about the feminine? Como la flor… 

  • Esta flor. (This flower.) 
  • Esa flor. (That flower.) 

Now let’s go with the feminine plurals: 

  • Estas flores, esas flores, aquellas flores. (These flowers, those flowers, those flowers over there.)?

When you’re missing something that is long gone you think, for example; about: “those little things”. Just like incredibly, Joan Manuel Serrat: 

“Aquellas pequeñas cosas” (“Those little things”) This song is quite popular, it’s from Spain. Surprise your Spanish-speaking friends by knowing the lyrics!!!! Aquí. 

VI. Test your knowledge of demonstrative adjectives Spanish!

Now, do you think you can pass this test? 

  1. Aquel de ustedes que esté libre de pecado, que tire la primera piedra.
  2. “Ese hombre que tú ves ahí…”
  3. Estos niños de ahora…puro con el celular. 
  4. Este arroz ya se coció.
  5. Aquellos días… Fueron los mejores de mi vida. ¡No, no es cierto! ¡Estos días son los mejores de mi vida!
  1. He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.
  2. That man that you see over there.
  3. These kids nowadays…hooked to the cellphone.
  4. This rice is done already.
  5. Those days. Were the best days of my life. No, that’s not true! These days are the best days of my life!

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