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Spanish Determining Adjectives - Demonstrative

By Tricia Wegman

Determining adjectives are an important concept for the acquisition of Spanish as a second language. Ensure student comprehension with these fun lesson plans!

Determining Adjectives are the words that accompany nouns and define meaning while indicating gender and quantity. These little words make a big difference in Spanish language, so complete ability to use these words is necessary. The following lesson plan focuses on the demonstrative adjectives and using them in context.

Lesson 1 Objectives:

  • 1 demonstrative adj Students will understand the general properties of all determining adjectives.
  • Students will understand and be able to use the demonstrative adjectives.


Lesson Procedure:

1. Introduce determining adjectives and pass out the organization sheet. Explain that there are many types of determining adjectives, but that they all have many things in common:

a. They always possess a gender and identify a quantity.

b. They always agree with the gender and number of the noun or name that they accompany.

c. They may be placed either before or after the noun or name that they accompany.

2. After noting the things in common on their organization sheet, introduce the first type: demonstrative adjectives. Explain that these words describe proximity or distance and are equivalent to this, that, these, and those in English. Fill out the chart on the organization page accordingly, explaining as you fill out the page.

3. Teach students a new jingle for helping them remember the spelling and usage of demonstrative adjectives. “This” and “these” have the “t’s”- “that” and “those” don’t. So when referring to “this” and “these” you will use este, estos, esta, and estas. When referring to “that” and “those” you will use ese, eso, esa, esas, and esos. Write down the jingle on note sheet.

4. Call out different objects that you see around the room and have the students decide which demonstrative adjective they should use to refer to the objects (i.e. esta mesa, aquella puerta, esos zapatos, etc.)

5. Create examples on the board where students must come up and fill in the blank using the correct adjective and have students write those examples onto their organization page.

6. Permit students to work with the student next to them and come up with a list of objects around them while describing the proximity or distance with the adjectives. Have them share with the class.


This topic will be one that may need to be stretched over several days because it may be difficult for students to grasp. As students create their lists with partners, walk around the class to check for comprehension. Collect the list to check for gender and number agreement.

Once students grasp this topic, the next type of determining adjective will be the possessive. Continue to the next plan for ideas on how to teach this topic. For further explanation or examples, this page gives some excellent details: