A demonstrative adjective/pronoun is an adjective/pronoun that show the distance in time or space between the speaker and the object referred to.
English and many other languages distinguish two degrees of distance; in English we use "this/these" for objects that are closer to the speaker and "that/those" for objects that are farther away from the speaker.
Spanish is relatively unusual, as it has two sets of words that can translate "that/those", one set for "that/those (near)" and another set for "that/those (far)". The following chart lists the adjectives and pronouns:
|this||that (near)||that (far)|
|neuter (pronoun only)||esto||eso||aquello|
|these||those (near)||those (far)|
The masculine and feminine forms can function as either adjectives or as pronouns. When used as adjectives one never uses explicit accent marks. When used as pronouns one may optionally use written accent marks, and the RAE recommends using them only when necessary to eliminate ambiguity. The pronouns with written accents are: éste/ésta/éstos/éstas, ése/ésa/ésos/ésas, and aquél/aquélla/aquéllos/aquéllas.
The neuter forms function only as pronouns; one never uses explicit accent marks on these words.
When two or more nouns are involved the demonstratives are repeated unless the nouns refer to the same thing: este hombre y esta mujer = "this man and (this) woman", but este poeta y filósofo = "this poet and philosopher" (same man).