Why "este mira a Angela" instead of "mira a Angela" or "él mira a Angela"?

PhilA0Kwiziq community member

Why "este mira a Angela" instead of "mira a Angela" or "él mira a Angela"?

Asked 2 years ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Phil and John

No, it's not a typo at all. We use the demonstratives este, esta, estos, estas to refer to he, her, they... when they've been mentioned before, as a substitute for él, ella, ellos...

It is as if we were saying "He, she, they, [who I just mentioned]...."

They are functioning as pronouns. We have a lesson on A2 where you can see them used as pronouns. We don't have an example matching the sentence you found in this reading exercise (Una vida nueva) but will add one so it reflects this specific use. Meanwhile, here are some other examples:

Los estudiantes sacaron muy buenas notas en los últimos exámenes. Estos fueron bastante difíciles pero los niños estudiaron mucho.

The students got very good results in the last exams. They (the exams, that I just mentioned) were quite difficult but the kids studied a lot. 


Había una chica sola sentada en la esquina de la cafetería. Esta estaba leyendo libro.

There was a girl alone sitting in the corner of the cafe. She (this one, this girl) was reading a book.


I hope this clarifies it.



PhilA0Kwiziq community member
I see the answer below, but I don't understand it. Neither spanishdict.com nor google translate mention "him", nor any pronoun, as a possible meaning for "este".
JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hola Phil, 

I agree. This looks odd and your suggestions of mira, él mira would be more normal. I wonder if it is a typo ...... BUT ..... I looked in the on-line dictionary "WordReference" which is based on the Collins Dictionary [and which I find invaluable], and one meaning of "este" is given as "the latter." I haven't seen this usage before but perhaps it is an alternative; it sounds really clunky though. 

None of the related grammar lessons in the exercise deal with this topic so it is probably a typo.

I'm sure Inma can put us right. Saludos. John

JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Gracias Inma, that's really interesting. Saludos. John

Why "este mira a Angela" instead of "mira a Angela" or "él mira a Angela"?

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