Demonstrative adjective

Definition: Demonstrative adjectives are: dieser [this] and jener [that].

The demonstrative "dieser"

Refers to something that is near or nearer in time or distance. It corresponds to English "this", but as it is used in contexts where the difference between near and distant is not crucial, it often equates to English "that". When placed in front of a noun, it declines as follows:

  Masculine Feminine Plural
Nominative dieser Brief diese Tasche diese briefen
Accusative diesen Brief diese Tasche diese briefen
Dative diesem Brief dieser Tasche diesen briefen

Nominative dieses Mädchen
Accusative dieses Mädchen
Dative diesem Mädchen

Examples in German:

Which child works well? - This one.
Welches Kind arbeitet gut? - Dieses.

Which man do you see? - That one.
Welchen Mann siehst du? - Diesen.

The demonstrative "jener"

Refers to something that is far or farther in time or distance. Although the pronoun "jener" means "that", it is really only used in certain formal registers or to contrast with "dieser", which should otherwise be used to translate "that":

  Masculine Feminine Plural
Nominative jener Brief jene Frau jene briefen
Accusative jenen Brief jene Frau jene briefen
Dative jenem Brief jener Frau jenen briefen

Nominative jenes Kind
Accusative jenes Kind
Dative jenem Kind

Examples in German:

I don't want to buy this bracelet, but that one.
Ich will nicht dieses Armband kaufen, sondern jenes.

Do you want this brooch or that one?
Willst du diese Brosche oder jene?

© 2007-2023 All rights reserved