What is the difference between the English and the Spanish demonstratives?
In English we used:
• “this” to talk about what is near the speaker.
• “that” to talk about what is far from the speaker.
But in Spanish we have three “semantic fields”, three differences:
• “este” to talk about what is near the speaker.
• “ese” to talk about what is near the listener.
• “aquel” to talk about what is far from both, speaker and listener.
By the way, it is the same difference about "here and there" and "aqui, ahí and allí or allá"
Wanna know a strange coincidence? Spanish and Japanese are identical with their this vs. that vs. that over there distinction.
これ koré = esto = this = (close to speaker)
それ soré = eso = that = (close to listener, far from speaker)
あれ aré = aquello = that = (far from speaker and listener)
And then, just like Spanish, Japan distinguishes between determiners used as a pronoun (This is bad. - I love that) or as an adjective (This dog is bad. - I love that dog.)
Pronoun: これ(koré)、それ(soré)、あれ(aré) = esto, eso, aquello
Adjective: この(kono)、その(sono)、あの(ano) = este (-os, -a, -as), ese (-os, -a, -as), aquel (-os, -a, -as)
The only difference is that Spanish only uses the special neuter pronoun forms when the gender of the item is unknown (¿Qué es eso?) whereas Japanese uses them any time the word is a pronoun.
::edit:: The acute accent
´ is not typically used in Japanese transcription, but I added it as a pronunciation aid. It does not indicate stress (Japanese doesn't use a stress accent), but rather that the e is not silent. I did this to prevent the Japanese words koré, soré, and aré from being mispronounced as the English words core, sore, and are. The same convention can be seen occasionally with the word saké, (vs. English "sake") and always with the word Pokémon (vs. English "poke").
I wrote out a really complicated example and then I found this. You should read that instead. Let me know if it doesn't help.
I took this directly from the "Tips and notes" section of Basics 1. I wonder if you might have missed it:
Vowels in Spanish can have an accent mark, such as the "u" in "menú" (menu). One use of the accent mark is to indicate which syllable should be stressed in the pronunciation. For example, in "teléfono" (telephone), the second "e" has the most stress.
Accent marks are also used to distinguish homophones. For example, "él" and "el" are homophones because they have the same pronunciation. However, "él" is a masculine pronoun (meaning "he" or "him") and "el" is a masculine article (meaning "the").
Short answer: The acute accent ( ´ ) only indicates stress or distinguished homophones. The diaresis ( ¨ ) indicates a non-silent u.
Sound quality? No. Only stress. There are only 5 vowel sounds in standard Spanish.
/u/ (possibly also
/ɛ/ depending on the speaker).
The diaresis¹ (found only on ü) is used in special cases to show that the u is pronounced as
/w/ rather than the expected silent vowel in the combinations gue or gui. For example, the word pingüino requires the diaresis for proper pronunciation:
/pinˈgwi.no/. Without it, the u would be silent:
If there were no u or ü in the combinations above, the g would sound like
/h/~/ç/~/x/ (Either h as in "happy," "human," or the ch in Scottish loch).
If you see gua, or guo, those u's are always pronounced
You can read more about that here.
¹Note that the ¨ is a diaresis and not an umlaut. The word umlaut refers only to the German(ic) usage of the ¨ to indicate a sound change.
It's not a literal translation in my opinion, who is that person over there? Would be translated to «¿Quíen es esa/aquella persona de allá?». I think Duo is a bit confused about the meaning of aquella. We normally use aquella to refer to objects that are far, but in reality it means the object is at the same distance from the speaker and the listener, and that doesn't mean the object is far away.
I read this in a comment on another question: apparently the difference between "eso" and "aquel" is that the former implies the thing is closer in proximity and the latter implies it is further in proximity. Hence, "Who is that person over there?" is a little more accurate.
This would be "esta." See: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/demonstrative-adjectives-in-spanish
Okay, so what is the aquel/aquella version for esto and eso?
I mean, Duolingo (and many other references) explain that esto and eso are neuter forms used in sentences where you don't really know whether the object is masculine or feminine (e.g. Qué es esto/eso). What if I wanted to ask "What is that over there?" Is it "Qué es aquello"?