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This / That / These / Those - Demonstrative Determiners

This, "that", "these", and "those" show where a specific object, event, or person is in relation to the speaker. These four words are also called demonstratives.

This / That

We use "this" and "that" with singular nouns (one noun). We use "this" for a thing that is close and we use "that" for a thing that is far away.
  • This house is blue. (The house is close.)
  • That house is blue. (The house is far away.)
Also, we can use "this" to talk about a thing in the present or near future and use "that" to talk about a thing in the past or future.
  • This is fun.
  • This is going to be fun.
  • That was fun.
  • That will be fun.
  • That is going to be fun.
We can use "that" for things that are not in the same place as the speaker. For example, things that are in a picture, or something that is in a movie or on TV.
  • That place looks amazing.
    (Talking about a place on TV.)

  • Who is that?
    (Talking about a person in a picture.)
We also use "this" when we are introducing a person or people.
  • This is my friend David.
  • This is Sue and Jon.
Finally, we can also use "this" when introducing ourselves on the phone.
  • Hello. This is Michael. May I speak with Kathy?
These / Those

We use "these" and "those" with plural nouns (more than one). We use "these" for things that are close and we use "those" for things that are far away.
  • These flowers are beautiful. (Flowers are close.)
  • Those flowers are beautiful. (Flowers are far away.)
If something is in a picture, on TV, in a book, or in your memory, then use "that" or "those".
  • That is my brother. (Looking at a picture)
  • Those are sharks. (Watching TV)
2 Ways to Use - This, That, These, Those

We can use "this", "that", "these", and "those" as the subject of a sentence. When we do this they are called demonstrative pronouns, but that is not important to know.
  • This is good.
  • That is bad.
  • That was my idea.
  • This works well.
We can also use "this", "that", "these", and "those" before a noun.
  • This car is fast.
  • That book is mine.
  • These puppies will be sold.
  • Those children are my cousins.
  • I want to go to that place.
  • Do you want to eat this sandwich?
  • She went to those places.
  • She brought these cookies to the party.
Here are some things to remember.

1. "This" and "these" are used for a thing or things that are close to the speaker. "This" is used with singular nouns (one), and "these" is used with plural nouns (more than one).
  • This is a book.
  • These are books.
  • This is my sister.
  • These are my sisters.
  • This cookie is great.
  • These cookies are great.
2. "This" and "these" can also be used to talk about things or ideas in the present.
  • This is a great day.
  • This idea is smart.
  • I have never felt this kind of love.
  • Have you ever had these feelings before?
3. "That" and "those" are used for a thing or things that are far from the speaker. "That" is used with singular nouns (one), and "those" is used with plural nouns (more than one).
  • That is a snake.
  • Those are snakes.
  • That is my friend.
  • Those are my friends.
  • That shirt is expensive.
  • Those shirts are expensive.
4. "That" and "those" can also be used to talk about things or ideas in the past or future.
  • That was a great day.
  • That day was great.
  • Those ideas were not good.
  • That feeling was strange.
  • That was terrible.
5. Use "this" to introduce someone or someplace. Use "that" to point out a person or place to another person.
  • Michael, this is my girlfriend Sarah.
  • This is my hometown.
  • Can you see across the lake? That is Canada.
  • Do you see the woman in the red dress? That is my boss.
It is very important that you know how to use these words correctly. Without these words, you cannot speak English.

Improve your English grammar and learn to speak fluently with this simple practice. Finish the sentences below and then practice making your own sentences. It is the best way to learn English fast!

That is _______________.
That __________ is _______________.
These are _______________.
These __________ are _______________.
That is _______________.
That __________ is _______________.
Those are _______________.
Those __________ are _______________.
Those people are _______________.
That man is _______________.
That woman looks _______________.
That building is _______________.
That place seems _______________.
I need to clean that _______________.
That _______________ is old.
That _______________ is new.

Look around the place you are. Start making sentences about things near you with "this" and "these". Then look further away or go to a window and look outside and practice making sentences with "that" and "those".

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