I had lots of trouble with these at first too. Esa is used with feminine objects (esa mesa/that table), ese is used with masculine objects (ese libro/that book), and eso is used when there is not any specified object (puedo hacer eso/i can do that). You would think eso would be masculine and ese would be neutral but it isnt. You have to remember that. And it is the same with esta/este/esto except those mean this and not that. Hope that helped!
Because the object (libro) immediately follows the definite article (ese), there is no ambiguity about the gender. To use eso would be saying something like "I can understand that (thing not specified). Book".
As a rule, you use the neuter when the noun is either abstract or unspecified in that sentence.
Not an expert. Just a bumbling student here. But here are my notes. "??" means that the gender can not be determined in the context of the sentence
This and these have Ts. That and those - the T goes.
Masc: este/estes (this/these) ese/esos (that/those) Fem : esta/estas (this/these) esa/esas (that/those) ?? : esto/estos (this/these) eso/esos (that/those)
Please let me know if I have misunderstood these...
Sandra - First, you'll have to remember that eso is
not a masculine form. If you can remember this I think you'll be fine.
"EsE" is the masculine, and
"esa" is the feminine. Both ese and esa,
when used before a noun, are demonstrative determiners (sometimes called "demonstrative adjectives"), and both mean "that". Naturally, as demonstrative determiners, they need a noun to 'determine' (ese libro, ese hombre; esa casa, esa cama).
"Eso", on the other hand, is a
pronoun. It is neuter. And as what pronouns do, it replaces a noun so it stands by its own. But in order to use this pronoun, the noun it is replacing must either be unspecified (so we don't know the gender of) or abstract. (Necesito eso. / "I need
that."; Eso es importante. / "
That is important.")
All of the above also applies to Este and Esta, and to Esto - all meaning "this".
Hope this helps you clarify stuff a bit.
Duoligo user, tessbee, and I created a Quizlet study set to help us learn what you are having trouble with. Specifically, the use of, "Este, Estos, Esta, Estas, Ese, Esos, Esa, Esas, Aquel, Aquellos, Aquella, and Aquellas." And you can use it too. For free!
You will need to first register on the Quizlet.com site then you will be able to use the our pulangchinelas created study set entitled, SPANISH DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES, which will allow you to gain skill in the use of these Spanish words. You must select the visible LEARN button to get the set to begin working for you. It will then present you with sentences to fill in the blank for. If you are unsure of a correct answer then you should click the "Don't Know" button and you will then be shown the answer. Explanations are always provided to help you learn. Run the set a nunber of times and it will teach you as it is a respectively smart bot.
Yes there is. Your sentence translates to, "I can I understand that book." In Spanish, the infinitive forms of verbs end in "er", "ir", and "ar" and typically translate as "to (do something)," but this is not a strict translation. (For example, they can translate into their "ing" forms in English, as in "Quiero acabar de comer" - "I want to finish eating.")
I'm not sure how to explain it technically (I'm sure someone else here can) but this particular lesson group will thoroughly expose you to this sentence structure, so you shouldn't have trouble catching on.
Bassheadxx - You got that right! Generally, two conjugated verbs cannot go together (under one subject). If you really want to say "I can understand that book", only poder should be conjugated, so it would be "Puedo entender...."
We actually do the same in English. When we, for example, negate a verb, we only conjugate the helping one ("He
does not like that book."). Likewise when we want to emphasize ("He
does like that book").