When does esse mean "this" and when "that"? They seem to change it around...
Strictly speaking "esse" means "that" (masculine) but in general Brazilians don't really distinguish between "esse" and "este" (this, masculine), therefore depending on which unpaid Duolingo volunteer is looking at a sentence, they might decide to be strict or be more accepting of "esse" or "este" for "this" or "that".
The chapter description tells me that este/esse is used if followed by a noun. So why isn't "issos" the right answer here?
Isso são cavalos = these things are horses.
There is no plural form for isto, isso and aquilo.
In European Portuguese and standard Brazilian Portuguese:
- este(s), esta(s), isto = this/these (close to the speaker)
- esse(s), essa(s), isso = that/those (close to the listener)
- aquele(s), aquela(s), aquilo = that/those (far from both)
In spoken Brazilian Portuguese the second group is also used to mean this/these.
More info here
I live in Brazil and esses is used the same as estes. There is no difference here in Paraná.
Esse... So in English we would say, "they are horses" Is there no difference between living and inanimate objects? (We would say for example,"those are rocks")
As a demonstrative pronoun, "Esse(s)" is used as "that/those": esses homens (those men), esses animais (those animals) or esses rochedos (those rocks). Pronouns like "eles(as)" (they) are personal ones and would not work with inanimate objects in the cultured norm.