Deictic expressions


I tried to understand the meaning of deictic expressions through the internet sources but could not. Could you please explain to me what deictic expressions are?


Tom … Deixis.htm

Hello Tom,

Deictic expressions relate the content of an utterance to the speaker, the addressee, and the time and place of utterance.

Thus if I say to you:

  1. Come over here and look at this!

“here” refers to where I am as I speak, “come” refers to a direction that depends on where “here” is, and “this” refers to e.g. something I am pointing at. They are therefore deictic.


  1. Yesterday he gave me a gold watch.

Here, the meaning of “yesterday” depends on the time of speaking, and “me” depends on the identity of the speaker. Moreover, “gave” is also a deictic element, as it locates the act in relation to the time of speaking. “A gold watch” however isn’t. (Gold watches are gold watches.)

Best wishes,


Though pointing is not always the case.

Indeed. (Hence the “e.g.”.)


I saw it. I was just wondering how many students would guess the other e.g.s.