And esté, the present subjunctive of estar in the yo and él/ella/usted forms.
Esto is used when the gender is unknown to the speaker or when there is no gender. "Ya te dije esto." I already told you this. Or "¿Qué es esto?" What is this? But if you know he's your son then you must use este. Don't get hung up on the accent marks on this one as it's no longer considered necessary in this situation.
The meaning depends on which letter has the accent. You're right that este/éste is for the masculine gender, though est
á isn't about gender. Ésta/esta is.
Éste = This (Demonstrative
Pronoun masculine, and can stand alone to replace a noun) "
This is my son."
Este = This (Demonstrative
Adjective masculine, and used before a noun) "*
This boy is my son."
The above also applies to the feminine version (
Ésta and Esta)
á is a different matter. It is from the verb Estar in its original form, and it corresponds to the English "be-Verb" is and the singular are ("You [singular] are...").
When the verb "set" is used, the personal "a" isn't needed because "ser" is a copula. Copulas essentially are like equal signs (=). When a personal "a" is used, the subject of the sentence is doing something to the direct object of the verb. For example, Doctors treat patients (Los doctors se tratan a los pacientes).
You are right that "éste" is the demonstrative pronoun, but that is from an English grammar viewpoint. In Spanish grammar, this is more likely to be termed a determiner.
I, myself, apply English grammar precepts all the time when I am analyzing Spanish grammar. However, IMO it's a bad idea to get in the habit of thinking that's how Spanish grammar works because Spanish grammar doesn't always correspond to English grammar. ;^)
Two years later: As I am revisiting this discussion now, I realize I made an error in this comment, AND YOU WERE CORRECT, gr8rubs. In Spanish grammar, "este" is the determiner, and "éste/ésta" is the demonstrative pronoun.
You have to start from an area of shared grammatical concepts and since we're learning Spanish, I must assume an English background. If "este" is a determiner what is the difference between it and "éste?" It's the function. In one sentence it merely describes which noun (function of a determiner) is the subject and in the other instance it is functioning as the subject, ergo a pronoun.
One of the things about Spanish and English is that the same word can function as more than one part of speech. I agree with you completely that "éste" the pronoun differs from "este" the "demonstrative" determiner. In English, unlike Spanish, the same spelling is also used in both parts of speech.
The point that I was trying to make–and failed miserably at doing–is that one must embrace and learn the second language's rationale for its grammatical conventions, such as the accent on the pronoun (something that I really like).
Im afraid I didn't completely understand TessBee the first time I read his comment, so thank you for confirming what I finally absorbed today in another posting, which is that the accent on the first "e" of "éste" is used to mark the word as a pronoun. ;^)
Es mi hijo translates to "it is my son." If you were to introduce him to someone you'd say "Éste es mi hijo," this is my son. In this case "éste" is a pronoun that substitutes for Juan, or whatever your son's name is. Different from "este choche es mio," this car is mine. To know when to use the accent and when not to is simple, if "this" is followed by a noun, no accent.
It's a grammar thing. The accent only serves to demonstrate the difference between two grammatical concepts. When you say "this man is my son", then the word "este" has no accent because it's just a determiner, and "man" is the subject. When you say "this is my son", then you use the accent because now "éste" is the subject of the sentence.