Using aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas for that one (over there), those ones (over there) and that (over there) (demonstrative pronouns)

In Spanish, to express that (over there), that one (over there) or those ones (over there) we use the demonstrative pronouns: aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas and aquello.

Like all pronouns they do not accompany a noun. The noun they refer to has been mentioned before, either in the same or a previous sentence.

Have a look and listen to these examples:

Me encanta este vestido, pero prefiero aquel.
I like this dress, but I prefer that one (over there.)

No te gustó esa falda, sino aquella.
You didn't like that skirt, but that one (over there) instead.

Alicia no se acuerda de esos alumnos. Ella se acuerda de aquellos.
Alicia doesn't remember those pupils. She remembers those ones (over there.)

Tania y Margarita no tenían estas joyas. Ellas tenían aquellas.
Tania and Margarita didn't have these jewels. They had those ones (over there.)

The pronouns agree in gender and number with the noun they are referring to:

  Masculine Feminine

Singular (that one) (over there)

aquel

aquella

Plural (those ones) (over there)

aquellos

aquellas

 

Referring to an idea

When the pronoun is referring to an idea, then we use the neutral pronoun aquello, and there is only one form. You could translate it as "it" or "that".

Have a look and listen to the following examples:

Aquello no es plato de buen gusto.
It's not everyone's cup of tea.

Aquello me tiene un poco preocupado.
It's got me a bit worried.

See also Aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas = that/those [over there] (demonstrative adjectives) to see how these same forms work when accompanied by nouns.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

No te gustó esa falda, sino aquella.
You didn't like that skirt, but that one (over there) instead.


Aquello no es plato de buen gusto.
It's not everyone's cup of tea.


Aquello me tiene un poco preocupado.
It's got me a bit worried.


Tania y Margarita no tenían estas joyas. Ellas tenían aquellas.
Tania and Margarita didn't have these jewels. They had those ones (over there.)


Alicia no se acuerda de esos alumnos. Ella se acuerda de aquellos.
Alicia doesn't remember those pupils. She remembers those ones (over there.)


Me encanta este vestido, pero prefiero aquel.
I like this dress, but I prefer that one (over there.)


Q&A

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

26 December 2018

3 replies

Pointing and "over there"

1. Could you remember these exclusively as occasions in which you are pointing at something?

2. What about using "over there" when you refer to another country?

Gracias, Ricky

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

27 December 2018

27/12/18

Hola Ricky,

1. The demonstrative adjectives and pronouns (este, ese, aquel, etc) are not always exclusively used when you are pointing at something. Sometimes we use them to refer to ideas or time (you cannot point at ideas or time), for example: "Recuerdo aquel verano tan caluroso de 1998...". 

2. You can indeed use aquel to refer to another country. You may be pointing at it on a map with your finger, or just refer to the country as an idea in your mind ( a far away idea/country).

Here is a more advance lesson on demonstratives referring to time.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your query,

un saludo

Inma

 

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

27 December 2018

27/12/18

Gracias, Inma.

How would you choose between eso (or ese) and aquel?

Ricky

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

8 January 2019

8/01/19

Buenos días Ricky,

Let's imagine first we are talking about physical objects that you can see at the moment of talking. Choosing "ese" or "aquel" will depend on the position of the object. If the object is positioned near the listener you would generally use "ese" because it is near/next to the listener. If the object is positioned far away from both, the speaker and the listener, then we generally use "aquel". 

Having said that, there is also a very general rule that doesn't consider the position of the object in reference to the listener. We will use "ese" to point at something that is positioned at a middle distance (this middle distance is very subjective to the speaker) from the speaker and listener, and we will use "aquel" to refer to something positioned at a far away distance from both the speaker and the listener. Again a far away distance is subjective to the speaker. This last rule is a very "open" rule as you can see. 

Let's imagine now we are talking about abstract ideas, e.g a trip, a summer... Here, using "ese" or "aquel" will entirely depend on how far away or near the speaker sees in his/her mind that idea. You could say "Ese verano del 2008 fue maravilloso" or "Aquel verano del 2008 fue maravilloso". If you say the second sentence, that summer appears in your mind as a "far away" idea. 

I hope this clarifies it a bit more.

Un saludo

Inma

Clever stuff underway!