こそあど are words that equate to things like "this" and "that". These words are called demonstratives because they show spatial information to direct the listener to what is being referred to. In Japanese, these words have nominal forms you can use like any other noun. To use them in the sense of "this book", you have to use separate attribute forms involving the particle の. The attribute forms are very similar to how articles work.
The name こそあど comes from the fact that the categories begin with こ, そ, あ, and ど. As a beginner, these words are crucial to you. So, now, you have no choice in learning them.
|こ stands for things close to the speaker.|
|そ stands for things close to the listener.|
|あ stands for things away from the speaker and listener.|
|ど stands for things of question.|
Curriculum Note: A か group will also be discussed.
The fundamental こそあど represent this, that, that over there, and which. The nominal forms may be made plural with ～ら. Notice that the attributive forms are made with の. However, it is not the case that you drop れ to add の. れ is actually another ending. This means that you can get ～れの phrases. We'll see later how they differ!
|あれ||That over there||あれはペンです。||あの||That over there||あのペン|
1. それand あれ both mean "that". When the object isn't present, それ shows that only one party is familiar with it and あれ shows that both are.
2. かの often refers to "that" which isn't familiar to the speaker or listener.
3. かれ isn't used to mean "that over there", but the meaning "he" came about from this original meaning.
4. どれ and どの may be replaced by いずれ and いずれの respectively. See how we get ～れの? If we look at point 3 again, we see that かれの (his) exists as well as かの. They don't mean the same thing, of course, but they both exist. So, start thinking about how これの and the like would be used.
5. それは can be used to refer to what was just stated. For example, someone might tell you that they just got a new job. You would say それはおめでとうございます.
This is an English-Japanese dictionary.
This neighborhood was once a quiet place.
I don't need that/that's not necessary.
Word Note: This いる is from the verb 要る, which is a 五段 verb and shows the necessity of things.
That over there is a cafeteria.
That hospital's services are wonderful.
This train does not stop at the next station.
“What is that?” “It's a koinobori”.
Culture Note: A 鯉幟 is a giant paper carp flown on top of poles next to houses that are celebrating Children's Day on May 5th with male children.
Grammar Note: There are times when これの and the like are acceptable. これ would be treated as a noun phrase no different than 犬. For instance, これのどこが違う？ is acceptable and would actually sound weird with この. This example translates to "where in this is wrong?". In case you're wondering, どこ is another こそあど word that we'll get to soon!
Contraction Note: You may see これは, それは, and あれは respectively contracted to こりゃ（あ）, そりゃ（あ）, and ありゃ（あ） in rougher/casual/dialectal speech. In some dialects, they are contracted further to こら, そら, and あら respectively.
8. こらおもろいわ。 (Dialectical)
This is funny/interesting!
こそあど that show location and direction include words such as here, there, over there, and where. These words also have other important usages.
To use these as attribute phrases like in "the school here", you just add の. These words may also be used in a less physical sense of place.
Where is the bank?
The toilet is here.
There is a zoo over there.
There is an elementary school.
The next set of こそあど to look at are polite forms of above. Unlike the above phrases, though, they have more usages. This series has an identical colloquial equivalent.
Aside from showing direction, they may also refer to person. こ stands for first person, そ stands for second person, and あ stands for third person. どちら is seen as どちらさま when used to ask "who". This series of words may also be polite forms of これ, それ, あれ, and どれ respectively. どちら is used usually to mean "which" out of two things, though 2+ may be implied in certain contexts. This is not the same as どれ which requires the "which" to be several. If どちら is used 90% of the time in just contexts of 2, どっち is 100% of the time.
Come this way, please.
It rained heavily here yesterday.
This is Mrs. Jones.
That person over there is the company president.
Either day is OK.
I traveled around the world.
Which, which?/Where is it, where is it?
Which book is mine?