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Learning Demonstrative Pronouns

I find this particularly difficult.

Could non-native speakers share how they managed to learn these words?

Also, could native speakers tells us what goes through their minds when they use these pronouns?

December 23, 2016



Basically, pronouns of proximity and remoteness are a lot of declinations of the "this", "these", "that", "those". To quickly remember them, remember singular and plural masculine and feminine forms. Usually the feminine forms have plenty of "ea" sounds.

Form - masc - fem:

  • this - acesta - aceasta

  • that - acela - aceea

  • these - aceștia - acestea

  • those - aceia - acelea

In Romanian - neutral gender is when a word is masculine in singular and feminine in plural (there are no words feminine in singular and masculine in plural).

As for the pronoun of differentiation, the easiest way to remember is the combination of word "cel" (the one), letter "l" and word "alt" (the other). Remember the forms for masculine and feminine and combine them properly:

Gender/number - cel - alt - cel+l+alt:

  • masc. sing. - cel - alt - celălalt (the "ă" in-between appears since in Romanian double consonants are generally avoided and it smooths the sound.

  • fem. sing. - cea - altă - cealaltă

  • masc. plur. - cei - alți - ceilalți

  • fem. plur. - cele - alte - celelalte

Pronoun of identity is the pronoun of remoteness with added "și" termination:

  • acela - același

  • aceea - aceeași

  • aceia - aceiași

  • acelea - aceleași


As a native speaker, I can't think of any trick to learn them. My advice would be to start by only focusing on the standard form (acesta instead of ăsta); it is "formal", thus acceptable even in the most pretentious contexts and, personally, I think it's easier to learn. Here's a table (sorry if there's a similar one already in the tips & notes section).


I'm very confused when it comes to pronouns of proximity and remoteness. On a basic level I think it's simple but all of a sudden you say "această" instead of "aceasta" and "acești" instead of "aceștia". I'm probably missing out on grammatical rules, can someone explain?


It is the short forms of these pronouns that I find most confusing. I cannot even find a paradigm online that includes them.

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