Level: beginner

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.

Be careful!

We say, This is John and this is Michael. (NOT These are John and Michael.)

  • to begin a conversation on the phone:

Hello, this is David. Can I speak to Sally?

that and those

We use that (singular) and those (plural) as pronouns to talk about things that are not near us:

What's that?
Those are very expensive shoes.
This is our house, and that's Rebecca's house over there.



We also use that to reply to something someone has said:

'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?'

Replies with that's 1


Replies with that's 2


With nouns

We can also use this, these, that and those with nouns. 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?

Demonstratives with nouns




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,
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

Hello no way,

Do you mean that you can't see the task? I've just completed the task successfully, so it seems to be working now. Have you tried viewing this page on a different browser? Sometimes that will solve the problem. If the page still isn't working for you, please let us know what the specific problem is and what browser and browser version you're using.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, sir. I have a question about pronoun.
In this sentence 'Everyone in her class loves the beautiful flowers.' preposition 'of' can't be used?
While in this sentence 'Everyone of her family will go.' the preposition 'of' was used instead of 'in'?
Please enlighten me. Thanks.

Hello Moeka,

'of' is not correct in the first sentence, nor does it sound correct to me in the second sentence. I would say 'in' in both sentences, not 'for'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


here's the sentence that I've been struggling for a while: "why do you like torturing me with these/those hints everyday?" so should i say these or those? heeeelp

Hello AdrianW,

What tomatosama (thanks, tomatosama!) says is correct. 'that' is used for things that are distant from us (whether in space or time) and 'this' for things that are closer.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you!