This - That - These -Those

English Grammar Notes - Demonstrative Pronouns

Singular Plural
Here This These
There That Those

These words are called demonstrative pronouns and they are used to show the relative distance between the speaker and the noun.


We use this (singular) and these (plural) to refer to something that is here / near.

Examples:

  • This is my car. (singular)
  • These are our children. (plural)

We use that (singular) and those (plural) to refer to something that is there / far.

Examples:

  • That is our house. (singular)
  • Those are my shoes. (plural)

Note that the verb changes (i.e. singular / plural) depending on the pronoun that you use.


You can also use demonstrative pronouns with a noun.

Examples:

  • This party is boring. (singular)
  • That city is busy. (singular)
  • These chocolates are delicious. (plural)
  • Those flowers are beautiful. (plural)

If an action is near in time we tend to use this / these.
If an action has finished or is in the past we use that / those.

Examples:

  • This is a good meal. (at the time of eating)
  • Those girls we met last night were silly. (an event that happened in the past).

The expressions this is / that is are also common when you talk on the phone or you introduce people.

Examples:

  • "Hello, this is Peter."
  • Carol, this is my friend Simon. Simon, this is Carol.



Next activity

Try our interactive games to practice this: This That These Those 1 and This That These Those 2.


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Last Updated: 04 April 2014