Aggettivi e pronomi dimostrativi: Italian demonstratives. Quick guide and quiz

Aggettivi and pronomi dimostrativi are the Italian demonstratives. They describe the position of an object, real of abstract, in the surrounding space of the speaker.



In the Italian language, aggettivi and pronomi dimostrativi, adjectives and pronouns, are words used to describe the relative position of an object or an abstract concept to the eyes of a speaker. As usual, like every Italian adjective or pronoun, the pronomi dimostrativi agree in gender and number with the object they represent or describe. Aggettivi qualify an object, pronomi take the place of objects inside a sentence. Even though they are the same words, some aggettivi can’t be used as pronomi. We are going to look at them in detail.

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For the sake of simplicity (amiamo la semplicità!) we can say that QUESTO and QUELLO are the two main pronomi dimostrativi, from which feminine and plurals derive.  Depending on the beginning of the word, QUEL and QUELL’ are variations of QUELLO as follows:

  • The first letter is a consonant; it follows the rule of the article IL (il bambino, quel bambino; i bambini, quei bambini);
  • The first letters are  z, s + consonant, ps, gn or pn, it follows the rule of the article LO (lo studente, quello studente; gli studenti, quegli studenti);
  • The first letter is a a vowel it follows the rule of the article L’ (l’uomo, quell’uomo; gli uomini, quegli uomini).

QUESTO and QUELLO along with their feminine and plural declination, are aggettivi and pronomi dimostativi as follows.

questo questa questi queste
quello quella quelli quelle


All the others can be just adjectives. Please have a look at the each single case and some examples clicking on the + signs.


QUESTO indicates something close to the speaker. It is similar to the English THIS/THESE:

It can be close phisically

  • Questo gatto è bianco. Questo è nero
  • Questa macchina è veloce.
  • Questi dolci sono siciliani. Questi invece sono toscani
  • Queste tagliatelle sono deliziose.

It can be close in time

  • Questo giorno è importante per me
  • Questa settimana sarà impegnativa
  • Non sprechiamo questi minuti preziosi
  • Queste ore saranno importanti


QUELLO indicates something that can be seen but is out of reach. It is similar to the English THAT/THOSE.

It can be far phisically

  • Quel cane è piccolo. Quello è grande.
  • Quella casa mi piace molto. Quella invece è troppo piccola
  • Quegli alberi sono alti. Quelli sono bassi.
  • Quelle tagliatelle sembrano buone.
  • Quell’amico di Gianni è simpatico

It can be far in time

  • Quel momento è stato importante
  • Quella settimana sarò in vacanza
  • Quell’anno ha fatto molto caldo
  • Quei giorni sono stati terribili

As a side note, there is an obsolete pronome dimostrativo, which is still in use in Tuscany:

Codesto and its declination indicate something close to the listener, not the speaker.

  • Codesta cravatta è bruttissima

I mean that your necktie, not mine, is horrible. Some Italian language schools and books still teach codesto, but unless you plan to live in Tuscany, you can just forget about it.

We hope this guide about pronomi dimostrativi was helpful and the examples clear. Please feel free to write a comment or ask questions if anything is unclear. We will be happy to solve your doubts. We are looking forward to seeing you at one of our online Italian language lessons. Subscribe for FREE today!

Please take some time for solving the quiz below about pronomi dimostrativi



About the author

Riccardo Cristiani

Head Teacher at Dante Learning, I was born in Milan, where I graduated in Italian Language and Literature at the "Università degli Studi". I started to teach Italian online in Japan back in 2003, well before the Skype era. I usually spend my winters in Tokyo and come back to Italy after the cherry blossoms lose their petals.

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