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Ese and aquel

Apologies if this has already been covered.
I am finding difficulty in knowing when to use ese/eso or aquel/aquellos. I know that the former, ese, usually is closer in distance or time and aquel is usually further away, i.e. over there .. but in a test when I used ese vestido it was accepted as correct. I redid to test it out with aquel vestido and that also was marked correct. Are they in fact interchangeable ?

March 3, 2018



A fellow Spanish learner here. Not an expert myself but I read someone's comment earlier about this in one of the discussions and they said that este/esta are used for things that are closer to the speaker, ese/esa to things that are closer to the listener, and aquel/aquella to things that are far from both. Correct me if I am wrong. Hope this helps!


You are completely right. Problem is in Duolingo exercise, the speaker is a bot, the listener is a human being, there is no actual distance and the language of learning is English.


They are too subjective, your opinion and context make the difference. Moreover, in a Duolingo exercise it is impossible to make a mistake, because English only has 2 basic grades: "this" (=este) and "that" (= ese + aquel).

In Chilean Spanish and maybe also in other dialects, "aquel" lost its meaning, there exist only "este" and "ese". People still say "aquel" but it is not longer the third grade of distance, it is only a matter of style.

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