This website may help clarify. https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/demonstrative-adjectives-in-spanish
How far away does an object need to be to qualify for "aquel" instead of "ese".
Down the street as far as the blue house?
As long as a piece of string?
As far as a camel can spit on Tuesdays?
Do I need a tape measure to continue my Spanish classes??
Spanish really knows how to mess with my brain.
The first time I heard this explained, I thought aquel meant it was far enough away to be out of sight, but that appears to be incorrect.
If I understand the explaination from that helpful link above, the distinction between ese and aquel is that both the person speaking and the person being spoken to are not near the dress.
So would this be an accurate way to summarize the differences:
este vestido = this dress, which I am holding or wearing ese vestido = that dress, which you are holding or wearing aquel vestido = that dress over there, being worn by someone across the room from us both
Or am I still missing the point?
According to the RAE, eso and aquel are relative terms as far as distance is concerned. For example, "esos montes" (those mountains) can be used when the physical distance is several kilometres, just as "aquel libros" (those books) can refer to those located a few metres away. Today, "aquel" is generally is used in literature to refer to something in our distant memory or more remote past. So it's good to know the word "aquel", but I think I'll stick with "eso" for everyday conversation. I hope this helps :)
Grammar nerd here. Aquel is the demonstrative adjective form, aquello is the demonstrative pronoun form. i.e. ¡Dame aquello! Give that to me! ¿Por favor puede darme aquel libro? Could you please give me that book over there?
Span¡shD!ct lists demonstrative adjective and demonstrative pronoun as definitions for aquel, aquella, aquellos and aquellas. It lists only demonstrative pronoun for aquello.
Demonstrative adjective: Aquel coche estacionado allá es mío. -- That car parked over there is mine.
Demonstrative pronoun: No sé tú pero yo prefiero aquel. -- I don't know about you but I prefer that one. Aquello de su mujer es una mentira. -- All that about his wife is a lie.
Aquello can also be used as a demonstrative pronoun meaning 'what': Nunca volvieron a mencionar a nadie aquello que hicieron el verano pasado. -- Never again did they mention to anyone what they did last summer.
"In the past the standard spelling for these demonstrative pronouns was with an accent ([aquél, aquélla, aquéllos] and [aquéllas]). Nowadays the [Real Academia Española] advises that the accented forms are only required where there might otherwise be confusion with the adjective."
For those of us who are definitely not grammar nerds, use of the accent mark might have signaled the word was an adjective, but I'm glad not to have another situation requiring me to remember when to use an accent.
The clearest answer I found is from the website listed below. If I understand correctly, aquel is used WITH a masculine noun, in this example ‘aquel vestido’ = that dress. (If the masculine singular noun is dropped, the traditional spelling becomes aquél = that)
Aquello is NOT used with a noun (masculine or feminine) since aquello is used in place of an entire idea, or when gender is unknown or irrelevant.
“There are three neuter demonstrative pronouns: esto, eso, and aquello. We aren't worried about gender with neuter pronouns. We also aren't worried about number since we're replacing a (singular) concept not (plural) objects.
Please note that:
*Even though esto, eso, and aquello might seem to fit the demonstrative adjective pattern better, este, ese, and aquel are the singular, masculine adjectives.
*The pronouns esto, eso, and aquello are considered neuter, not masculine, even though they end in "-o."
*Even though they are pronouns, esto, eso, and aquello don't have accent marks.”
It's all about distance from the speaker. If something is closer, use ese, if it is farther away, use aquel. If you are a native English speaker, the English equivalents are este=this, ese =that, aquel= that over there.
To let you know that le refers to Fernanda, not the dress. In other words to let you know that the sentence means Fernanda likes the dress. If you didn't use 'a Fernanda' the sentence would mean The dress likes Fernanda, which doesn't really make sense unless you're writing science fiction.
Gustar doesn't really mean to like, but to please. In order to convey the idea of liking something Spanish makes it reflexive, so, me gusta means he/she/it it is pleasing to me. Le gusta he/she/it is pleasing to him/her/it. As you can see, You can't tell if le means Fernanda or the dress unless you say a(to) Fernanda.