Why do we use this and these?
We use this (singular) and these (plural) as demonstrative pronouns:
1. To talk about people or things near us:
Example: This is a nice cup of tea.
Whose shoes are these?
2. To introduce people:
Example: 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?
Why do we use that and those? - We use that (singular) and those (plural):
- to talk about things that are not near us:
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?
Use of this, these, that, those with nouns:
You can also use demonstratives before a noun. These are called 'demonstrative adjectives'.
The Demonstrative Adjective needs to agree (= be the same form) as the noun.
Examples of demonstrative adjectives:
This party is boring. (singular)
That city is busy. (singular)
These chocolates are delicious. (plural)
Those flowers are beautiful. (plural)
We also use this, these, that 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?
We use '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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