Topic
pronouns: this, that, these and those

Why do we use this and these?

We use this (singular) and these (plural) as pronouns:

- to talk about people or things near us:

This is a nice cup of tea.
Whose shoes are these?

- to introduce people:

This is Janet.
These are my friends, John and Michael.

WARNING:
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:

What’s that?
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?

this, these, that, those with nouns

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?

… and that and those for people or things that are not near us:

Who lives in that house?
Who are those people?

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Is it possible to replace the word "that" by "it"? Like for these examples:
1.Shall we go to the cinema?
- Yes, that’s a good idea.
or
Yes, It's a good idea
2. When the phone rang and you answered the call (Hello! Who is this? instead of Who is it?

Hello RTris,

In the first example you need to use 'that' and not 'it'. Although people would understand if you said 'it', the sentence would not be standard English.

In the second example, it's possible to say 'this' as well as 'it', but the version with 'this' may sound slightly aggressive - more like a challenge than a greeting. Of course, the tone of voice has a big role to play here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

got 8 out of 8.. :)

hello sir .

how is "This" and "It" used in sentences like
It is John and this is Michael.
instead of
This is John and this is Michael.

hello sir ,

Can it be :
It is a nice cup of tea .
instead of
This is a nice cup of tea .

Hello gurpriya,

Grammatically both are possible, but 'this' is much more likely if we have the cup of team in front of us. However, without a context it is not possible to say which is the better choice.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

When do we need to use ' Why is that?' and How to use it

Hello Chong Cheng Feng,

In general, 'Why is that?' means the same thing as 'Why?' As far as I can tell, you could use it in most situations where you would say 'why?', e.g. 'My sister doesn't like ice cream' - 'Why?' (or: 'Why is that?) - 'She's allergic to milk.'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

i got 6 out 8 ....

Hi, Sir
I have problem in the last topic it does not work with me. can you help me

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