Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish Translation

English and Spanish demonstrative pronouns both serve the function of pointing out to a particular object or person. Spanish demonstrative pronouns are similar to Spanish demonstrative adjectives except for one minor distinction. The Spanish demonstrative pronoun is accented on the stressed syllable while the Spanish demonstrative adjective is not.

The following are some of the common English demonstrative pronouns and their Spanish counterparts: This — éste; that — ése; these — éstos; those — ésos (the first ‘e´ in all the Spanish demonstrative pronouns is accented).

During the Spanish translation of demonstrative pronouns the translator must be alert to two things:

  1. There are three neuter demonstrative pronouns, namely ‘esto´, eso´ aquello´. They are never used to point out to a person or thing. Instead, they are used to sum up the idea that is expressed through a sentence. They do not carry any accent because they have no corresponding demonstrative adjectives. Example: Se fue sin decírmelo, y esto me preocupa mucho (He left without telling me, and this bothers me a great deal). ‘esto´ is used in the Spanish sentence to refer to the idea of leaving without giving any information.
  2. The Spanish translation of the English words ‘former´ and ‘latter´ are ‘aquél´ (‘aquélla´) and ‘éste´(‘ésta´). [the ‘e´s in the Spanish words are accented.] but while in English sentences, ‘former´ comes first and is followed by ‘latter´, in Spanish it is the reverse. ‘Este´ comes first and is followed by ‘aquel´.

Example: ‘Louisa and Raymond got married in Marbella. The former is Spanish and the latter Portuguese.´ will be translated into Spanish as ‘Luisa y Ramon se casaron en Marbella. Éste es portugués y aquélla es Española.´

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