Comparison of Italian and Spanish

Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives

The Italian demonstrative pronouns are summarized in the following table:

Mas. sg.questoquello
Fem. sg.questaquella
Mas. pl.questiquelli
Fem. pl.questequelle

So, for example, preferisco quella means 'I prefer that one', where the thing referred to is feminine singular.

The Spanish system of demonstrative pronouns is similar, but there is an 'intermediate' form, indicating that the object is close to the hearer, if not the speaker:

ThisThat (near)That (far)
Mas. sg.estoesoaquello
Fem. sg.estaesaaquella
Mas. pl.estosesosaquellos
Fem. pl.estasesasaquellas

There used to be an intermediate form in Italian too (codesto), but it is has largely fallen out of use.

The Italian demonstrative adjectives are identical to the demonstrative pronouns. E.g. questo libro means 'this book'. However, there are complications. E.g., questo and questa are shortened to quest' before a vowel, quelli becomes quegli before 'z' or before 's+consonant', and so on.

The Spanish demonstrative adjectives are also identical to the demonstrative pronouns, with the exception that esto becomes este. E.g., este libro means 'this book'.

Created October 2006 by Adam N. Letchford.