Am learning Japanese and I can't decide when to appropriately use either of the pairs: kono/kore, sono/sore, ano/are, dono/dore

Can someone please explain with Examples how these can be used in what scenario or why woull one use kono and not use kore and in what occasion.

2 Answers 2


The difference is simple: これ・それ・あれ・どれ are abstract this/that/that one/which one. この・その・あの・どの need a specific object to modify; that is, something must come after it.

この本 ➝ This book
その本 ➝ That book
あの本 ➝ That book (over there)
どの本 ➝ Which book

In fact, I believe この・その・あの・どの are just contractions of これ・それ・あれ・どれ + の.

  • 1
    To tweak the wording somewhat for better correspondence with English concepts, the words ending in れ can be treated like nouns (they can be used on their own as subjects, objects, etc.), while the words ending in の can be treated like adjectives (they must be followed by a noun or noun phrase, and cannot be used on their own). Also, FWIW, the modern の terms did not derive as contractions: the root forms こ・そ・あ were the original forms in the Kojiki and Man'yōshū, to which の was added as a particle (or even other particles like は or を). The れ forms are the innovation, appearing later. Mar 22, 2018 at 18:18

これ、それ and あれ are used as pronouns, while この、その and あの are used as demonstrative determiners.

これは私のカバンです —> This is my bag
このカバンは青いです —> This bag is blue

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