How to Use Demonstratives - this, that, these, those for English
The English Language
Demonstratives are the words that are used to show the relative distance between the speaker and the noun or the words that show which particular thing or person is being referred to in a sentence. The demonstratives in the English language are this, that, these, and those.
This is my Sister--'this' here is a demonstrative
That is not the right way--'that' here is a demonstrative
How to use demonstratives
Demonstratives generally differ according to the
Distance- near or far
Number- singular or plural
Below are the main distinctions while using the demonstratives
‘This’ modifies or refers to singular nouns that are near to the person mentioning it.
‘That’ modifies or refers to singular nouns that are far from the person mentioning it.
‘These’ modify or refers to plural nouns that are near to the person mentioning it
‘Those’ modify or refers to plural nouns that are far from the person mentioning it.
We can use demonstratives in two ways, either to modify a noun or to replace a noun.
In case the demonstrative modifies a noun, it is called a demonstrative determiner/demonstrative adjective
In case the demonstrative replaces a noun, it is called a demonstrative pronoun
Difference between the Demonstrative Pronoun and Demonstrative Adjective
There is a clear difference between demonstrative adjectives (or demonstrative determiners) and demonstrative pronouns (or independent demonstratives).
Demonstrative Pronouns: A demonstrative pronoun generally replaces the noun rather than modifying it.
‘This’ (singular) and ‘These’ (plural) is used to refer to something that is here / near.
This is my house (singular)
These are our books (plural)
‘That’ (singular) and ‘Those’ (plural) to refer to something that is there / far.
That is our car (singular)
Those are my sceneries (plural)
It is important to note that the verb changes (i.e. singular/plural) depending on the pronoun that we use.
We can also use Demonstrative Pronouns by themselves
I'd like to sell these?
Which of those would you like to buy?
Demonstrative Adjectives: A demonstrative adjective is used to modify a noun
This Orange is good. In the sentence ‘This’ modifies 'apple’
I like those clothes. In the sentence ‘those’ modifies ‘clothes’
Various ways to use ‘this’ and ‘these’
‘This’ (singular) and ‘These’ (plural) are used as pronouns
to talk about people or things near us
This is a nice book to read
Whose clothes are these?
To introduce people
This is Maria
These are my colleagues, Jim and Melissa
To introduce ourselves to begin a conversation on the phone:
Hello, this is Jill; Can I speak to the owner?
‘That’(singular) and ‘Those’ (plural) are used to
To talk about things that are not near us
This is our office, and that’s Clara’s office over there.
Those are very expensive suits.
We also use that to refer back to something someone said or did
Shall we go to the movie? Yes, that’s a brilliant plan.
I’m very upset today. Why is that?