kono~, sono~, ano~, dono~ – この~、その~、あの~、どの~

この (“ko-no”; “This~”)

その (“so-no”; “That~”)

あの (“a-no”; “That (over there)~”)

どの (“do-no”; “Which~”)

We just learned demonstrative pronouns (これ(ko-re)、それ(so-re)、あれ(a-re)、どれ(do-re)). Now it’s time to take a look at demonstrative adjectives. These words are very similar to the pronouns, except that they require a noun that they are describing to follow after. For instance, let’s go back to the ramen shop:

A:「 これは辛いですか?」(“ko-re wa ka-ra-i de-su ka?”; “Is this spicy?”)

Depending on the context of a conversation, これ(ko-re; “this”) can be too vague for the listener to determine what type of thing exactly the speaker is talking about. By changing it to:

A:「 このラーメンは辛いですか?」(“ko-no raa-men wa ka-ra-i de-su ka?”; “Is this ramen spicy?”)

it is now clear that A is talking about the ramen that is right in front of him. Continued:

B:「 はい、そのラーメンは辛いです。」(“ha-i, so-no raa-men wa ka-ra-i de-su.”; “Yes, that ramen is spicy”)

A:「あのラーメンは?」(“a-no raa-men wa?”; “How about that ramen over there (away from both speaker and listener)?”)

B:「 どのラーメン?」(“do-no raa-men?”; “Which ramen?”)


These adjectives are used in conjunction with nouns to help clarify context. The noun lets the listener know what type of thing the speaker is referring to, and these adjectives let the listener know the distance away from the speaker they are.

PRACTICE: Replace the これ、それ、あれ、どれ from yesterday’s conversation you wrote and replace them with この~noun、その~noun、あの~noun、どの~noun.