Demonstrative Pronouns and Pronominal Adjectives

I have absolutely no idea what i'm doing. So far, some lessons have been tougher than others but I can at least understand the logic behind it. This one however, I can't even begin to understand and i'm reverting to making total guesses.

The explanation given doesn't seem to match the tables provided and I'm having a hard time learning what exactly are the differences to the various forms of this/that/these/those.

For example:

"The form of the proximity and distance pronominal adjective that is placed before the noun is with the final -a: acest munte (this mountain), acel munte (that mountain), această casă (this house), acea casă (that house)"

This seems simple enough but i'm yet to see any of these examples appear in the duolingo questions. These examples don't correspond to the tables provided either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

April 13, 2019


The Tips & Notes for that skill are in desperate need of an overhaul. The paragraph you are citing contains a self-contradiction and should best be ignored.

If you place the demonstrative pronoun before the noun it modifies, its forms are:

  • proximity masculine (singular/plural): acest / acești
  • proximity feminine (s/p): această / aceste
  • distance masculine (s/p): acel/ acei
  • distance feminine (s/p): acea / acele

If placed before the noun, the noun does not take the definite article: acest bărbat ("this man"), acea femeie ("that woman").

If you place the demonstrative pronoun after the noun it modifies, its forms are:

  • proximity masculine (s/p): acesta / aceștia
  • proximity feminine (s/p): aceasta / acestea
  • distance masculine (s/p): acela / aceia
  • distance feminine (s/p): aceea / acelea

In that case, the noun must have the definite article: bărbații aceștia ("these men"), femeile acelea ("those women").

Usually the demonstrative pronoun is placed after the noun. About the difference of placing it before or after the noun, see this discussion:

The forms listed so far are formal ones, used in formal speech and written Romanian. In colloquial speech, they are normally not used. Instead, people use these:

  • proximity masculine (s/p): ăsta / ăștia
  • proximity feminine (s/p): asta / astea
  • distance masculine (s/p): ăla / ăia
  • distance femine (s/p): aia / alea

The colloquial forms can be used either standing alone (alea sunt fete - "those are girls") or after the noun (fetele alea - "those girls"), but not before the noun.

Some further remarks:

  • all the forms I have listed are just the nominative/accusative forms

  • the feminine singular forms aceasta (asta) /aceea (aia) can be used with a neutral value, e.g. nu vreau să fac asta ("I do not want to do this")

  • the pronominal adjectives of identity can only be placed before the noun (același băiat - "the same boy")

  • the pronominal adjectives of differentiation can be placed before or after the noun (celălalt băiat / băiatul celălalt - "the other boy")

EDIT: I was a bit sloppy with the terms here. Most of the time I use "demonstrative pronoun", it should actually read "demonstrative pronominal adjective".

If you truly use a "demonstrative pronoun" you can either use the forms of the demonstrative pronominal adjectives that are placed after the noun or the colloquial forms, but not the forms you place before the noun.

So if you want to say, for example, "This is a man", it is either

  • Acesta e un bărbat

or (much more common in everyday speech)

  • Astă e un bărbat


  • Acest e un bărbat.
April 13, 2019

Thanks Thomas. As a native English speaker, i find this part of the course extremely difficult. So many variations and none of which come intuitively! Here, I can't even learn as a parrot would by repetition as the explanations provided by Duolingo don't even tie into the content provided.

Îți mulțumesc!

April 14, 2019

Yes, you were "a bit sloopy" LOL
"the feminine singular forms acestea (asta) /aceea (aia)"
Should be aceasta. The one you mentioned is feminine plural.

April 13, 2019

corrected - thanks

April 14, 2019
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