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According to the Harper's English Grammar, there are four demonstrative pronouns in the English language: this, that, these, and those; however, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, there are five - what is the fifth one?

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Answer: such

A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that designates or points out something; for example: "Such are my beliefs." Some claim that English has seven of them: the aforementioned five, plus yon and yonder, as in: "Yon (or yonder) cow is a bull."


(1) The New Shorter OED (on CD-ROM) has this entry for THEY:"Demonstrative: those (chiefly as antecedent). arch. ME." Admittedly, it does class it as archaic, though.

(2) If one speaks of "yon/yonder" cow, why is yon/yonder not an adjective? Demonstrative pronouns are NOT adjectives, obviously, when used as subjects in "demonstrative" sentences. When in conjunction with, and directly preceding a substantive/noun, they are technically adjectives.

(3) But in the sentence "Yon cow is a bull," wouldn't "yon" be acting as an adjective rather than a pronoun? Still, your point works, because we could say "Yon is a bull" and mean "yon" to refer to the THING (tho most often it might replace "there," instead).

(4) How about "themthar" as in "there's gold in them thar hills" ? Also" that there" and "this here" as in "that there fella can't hit nothin' in this here league" ?(Casey Stengel). I could go on but perhaps had better not.

(5) The comments about "yon/yonder" acting as an adjective are true - except for the fact that every pronoun in the possessive case is adjectival - "my book," their socks," the cat is mine" - and yet they are called "pronouns" in English nomenclature. In my Department's grammar classes, students must call such words "PPPCFA" when identifying the parts of speech - "Personal Pronoun, Possessive Case, Functioning Adjectivally"! A mouthful, but one that reveals to them the inconsistency of the name and the fluid, evolving nature of language.

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