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This, that, these, and those



How do we use this and these?

We use this (singular) and these (plural) as pronouns:

– to talk about people or things near us:

  • This is a nice cup of tea.
  • Whose shoes are these?

– to introduce people:

  • This is Janet.
  • These are my friends, John and Michael.

We don’t say: These are John and Michael.
We say: This is John and this is Michael.

– to introduce ourselves to begin a conversation on the phone:

  • Hello, this is David. Can I speak to Sally?

How do we use that and those?

We use that (singular) and those (plural):

– to talk about things that are not near us:

  • What’s that? – That’s a modern car.
  • This is our house, and that’s Rebecca’s house over there.
  • Those are very expensive shoes.

– We also use that to refer back to something someone said or did:

  • – Shall we go to the cinema?
    – Yes, that’s a good idea.
  • – I’ve got a new job.
    – That’s great.
  • – I’m very tired.
    – Why is that?

thisthesethat, those with nouns

We also use thisthesethat and those with nouns to show proximity

We use this and these for people or things near us:

  • We have lived in this house for twenty years.
  • Have you read all of these books?

… and that and those for people or things that are not near us:

  • Who lives in that house?
  • Who are those people?

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