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Hebrew for Christians
6.4  Demonstrative Pronouns

Hebrew Demonstrative Pronouns

In English, a demonstrative pronoun functions as a substantival form of the demonstrative adjective, which you studied in Unit 5.7.

Demonstrative Pronoun Paradigm
The paradigm for the demonstrative pronoun is identical with the paradigm for the demonstrative adjective:

Quick Summary Chart

The first pair (this-these) stands for something near at hand, whereas the second pair (that-those) stands for something relatively distant or remote from the speaker. Here are some English examples:

    This (one) is the man.
    These (ones) are the kings.
    That (one) the messenger.
    Those (ones) are the saints.

Notice in these examples that the demonstratives are functioning substantively -- with an  implied “one” (for singular forms) or “ones” (for plural forms).

Demonstrative Pronoun Properties
Demonstrative pronouns function just like predicate adjectives, and have the following properties:

  1. They appear before the noun they modify
  2. They agree with the noun they modify in:
    • Gender (masc / fem)
    • Number (sing / pl)
    • but not in definiteness


Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative Pronouns

In these examples, notice how the demonstrative pronouns appear before their nouns with which they agree in gender, number -- but not in definiteness.

Other Examples:

Demonstrative Pronoun Examples

Notice that a demonstrative pronoun appears before any other attributive adjectives that might modify the noun in an adjective phrase (for example, in the phrase zeh ha-ish hattov, the demonstrative pronoun appears before the entire adjective phrase).

Section Exercises

  1. Summarize the usage of the demonstrative pronoun on a small flashcard.
  2. Write some simple examples to help you remember the rules.
  3. From vocabulary you already know, create simple constructions using the demonstrative  pronouns (example: This is the king.)

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