This and that: Expressing distance

This and that: Expressing distance

Determiners (determinantes in Spanish) go before the noun and give some sort of information.
These clarify where the noun is (how far it is) in relation to the person speaking.


Bear in mind that sometimes distance can be not in space but in time:
Ex: This thing we just talked about / that thing you told me.

We do this in English too! So it's completely equivalent that way, using these words to talk about things that are close/recent, more far away/less recent.

The noun can be a person, an object or a non-defined neutral (it, that thing) but the later never exists in the plural.

Let’s go in order of proximity starting with the closest:

THIS - here, now/recent

Este – masc
Esta – fem
Esto – neutral (this thing)

Estos- masc
Estas- fem

THAT - there, less recent

Ese – masc
Esa – fem
Eso- neutral (that thing)

Esos – masc
Esas- fem

Notice that when these two sets of determiners are singular, we use the ending "-o" for the neutral form, and the "-e" for masculine form.
Then, in plural, it goes back to being -o masculine and -a feminine.

We don't have a neutral (because if you knew the noun was plural you would be giving it a name and therefore, it wouldn't be a neutral anymore), so it goes back to our usual o/a pattern.

One step further away...

There is no translation for this one, but it would be something like:

That/those over there - further away than "that" or to emphasise distance.

That/those back then - in the past

Aquel – masc
Aquella – fem
Aquello – neutral (that thing)

Aquellos- masc
Aquellas – fem

Ex1: Recuerdo aquel concierto – I remember that concert (far away in time, in the past)

Ex2: Me gustan estas plantas, pero aquellas son horribles – I like these plants but those (far away, over there) are horrible.


Fill in the gaps with the right word. Look out for clues in the sentence to know how far away/close the thing referred to is.

  • Tenemos que cambiar _________ cojines que tenemos en el salón.
    We have to change these/those cushions that we have in the living room.

  • ______ que tu amiga me contó es un secreto muy grande.
    This/that that your friend told me is a very big secret.

  • Me gustaría que la música de hoy en día fuera como _________ música de los años 80.
    I'd like the music nowadays were like this/that music from the 80s.

  • ¡________ cocina es un desastre, mira! Todos los platos están sucios todavía!
    This/that kitchen is a disaster, look! All of the plates are still dirty!

  • No me gusta _______ chico para ti. __________ amigo que conocí la semana pasada me gusta más.
    I don't like this/that boy for you. This/that friend I met last week I like him more.

  • ¡ ________ es imperdonable! No quiero verte nunca más!
    This/that is unforgivable! I don't want to see you anymore!

Sol: esos/eso/aquella/esta/ese,aquel/esto

Eso es todo, ¡nos vemos! ;)