Demonstratives in Russian: how to say "this", these", "that", and "those"

We use demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives all the time. It's hard to imagine how we could live without them. They really make our life easier. When we want to point something specific, demonstrarives are essential.

Demonstrative adjectives

We use demonstrative adjectives in same situations as we do in English. But, unfortunatelly, like all

Russian adjectives they change their endings depending on the gender of a noun they're describing.

this: этот (masculine), эта (feminine), это (neuter)

these: for all genders is эти

Demostratives in Russian: this, these, that, those

Declension:

Case singular plural
masculne feminine neuter
Nom. этот эта это эти
Gen. этого этой этого этих
Dat. этому этой этому этим
Acc. этот (inanimate),
этого (animate)
эту это (inanimate),
этого (animate)
эти (inanimate),
этих (animate)
Inst. этим этой этим этими
Prep. (об) этом (об) этой (об) этом (об) этих

Examples:

Этот дом слишком маленький для нас. - This house is too small for us.

Я хочу эту машину. - I want this car.

Это яблоко неспелое. - This apple is not ripe.

Что мне делать с этими деньгами? - What should I do with these money? (Деньги (money) is used in the plural in Russian).

Я смотрю на этого мальчика (animate). - I'm looking at this boy.

Я смотрю на этот дом (inanimate). - I'm looking at this house.

Тот (that) refers to something further removed (as it is in English). It also has many forms:

that: тот (masculine), та (feminine), то (neuter)

those (for all genders) - те

Та книга интереснее, чем эта. - That book is more interesting, that this one. 

Case singular plural
masculne feminine neuter
Nom. тот та то те
Gen. того той того тех
Dat. тому той тому тем
Acc. тот (inanimate),
того (animate)
ту то (inanimate),
того (animate)
те (inanimate),
тех (animate)
Inst. тем той тем теми
Prep. (о) том (о) той (о) том (о) тех

Watch my video about demonstratives in Russia for better understanding. You can also listen to the pronunciation of each word.

Demonstrative pronouns

The difference between demonstrative adjectives and pronouns in Russian is that we don't use them all in the second case (as pronouns).

For example:

Это наши дети. - These are our children.

You might wonder why we used это but not эти. Well, this is the Russian language.

For any situation we just use это or то. But actually just "это". I would not dare to say "То мои дети". It sound a little weird and old-fashioned. And I would say it's used for other purpose rather than for pointing at something/someone who's far from you (there).

Чья это сумка? - Whose bag is this?

Это моя сумка. - This is my bag.

Чьи это часы? - Whose watch is this?

Это мои часы. - This is my watch?

Чьи это туфли? - Whose shoes are these?

Это мои туфли. - These are my shoes.

How to say "this is" in Russian

We use это (this) in every situation. Even when it should be то (that). But when we have both that and this in one sentence (one situation), we can use "то", as well.

Эта кровать моя, а та - его. - This bed is mine, and that is his.

Чьи это перчатки? (Whose gloves are these?)

Мои. (Mine.)

А те? (And those?)

Моего сына. (My son's.)

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