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This That These Those

Demonstrative Determiners

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This That These and Those are often used in English. Unfortunately, they are sometimes confused. This guide to This That These and Those will help you understand when to use these common words, as well as provide clues to help you make sure you are always correct.

This That These Those

This That These and Those are considered determiners. Determiners are words that are used together with nouns to clarify the noun. There are a number of different types of determiners:

Articles
Demonstratives
Possessives
Quantifiers
Numbers
Ordinals

This That These and Those are demonstrative determiners because they demonstrate which object is being referred to. For example

That car over there belongs to Peter.

In this case, 'that' identifies or demonstrates which car belongs to Peter.

This / That

Both 'this' and 'that' are singular and are used with 'is', the singular form of the verb 'to be'.

This

This computer on my desk was bought in 2004.
That picture on the wall was painted by my friend.

This is always used with something that is near to the speaker. This is often used with 'here' to indicate the location near to the speaker.

(Man pointing to a book in his hand) This is my favorite book!
This is my dog Frank right here next to my side!

That

That is always used with something that is away from the speaker. That is often used with 'there' to indicate the location away from the speaker.

(Man pointing to a person on the other side of the street) That is my friend over there next to Peter.
That is my car parked under the building at the end of the street.

These / Those

Both 'these' and 'those' are plural and are used with 'are', the plural form of the verb 'to be'.

These

These is always used with a number of things that are near to the speaker. These is also used in combination with 'there' to indicate a location which is near to the speaker.

(Woman holding three pens in her hand) These are my favorite pens for writing letters.
These apples are very tasty! (Boy holding two apples)

Those

Those refers to things (plural) that are located at a distance from the speaker. Those often takes 'there' to indicate a location away from the speaker.

(Man pointing to some trees in a field) Those are birch trees over there.
Those people in that picture are very excited.

Now that you understand the use of this that these and those as demonstrative determiners, use this dialogue and exercise on determiners to deepen your understanding or as an in-class role play activity.

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