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



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But sir if we are teaching to someone. we can say. these are some verbs. which are not involved in Continuous Tense.
Hi sampat, Normally I teach this topic just as Peter and the page he referred to explain it. In any case, please know that there are exceptions to this rule, so depending on the level of the class you are teaching, it might or might not be appropriate to mention the exceptions. Best wishes, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by tkedd on Wed, 18/09/2013 - 10:47


Hi to all,

Please, I would like to know what pronoun must we use when we talk about for example of attachment of email.

Must we say : Please, find enclosed this file or

                       Please, find enclosed that file.

I am confused sometimes.

Thanks for your help

Hi tkedd,

The word enclosed is more appropriate for 'snail mail' , that is, letters that are posted in an envelope.

For an attachment to an email, I would recommend something like one of the following phrases (though there are many other good ones, too!):

  • please find attached a copy of the report  (a bit formal)
  • I've attached a copy of the report to this message  (more informal)

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Hector.Alcantara on Fri, 13/09/2013 - 16:24


Hello this is Hector. I got 100%. I'm so very glad, I have been using these exercises a few days ago and this is my first 100%.I was close in previous tries, but I had a mistake or omission.

I appreciate so much this material and the opportunity to improve my English and double check my grammar.

I thank you Learn English team.

By the way, is correct say "I thank you" or "thank you" is enough?, I ask you because, I would like to be polite and formal

Hi Hector,

Thanks for your kind words and for letting us know that you find LearnEnglish useful - it's always great to hear.

"I thank you" is correct, and is really quite formal. Just "thank you" is also polite (and fine in this context), but not as formal.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by priyanka.sethi on Wed, 04/09/2013 - 09:05


Hi, This is better to learn English but somewhere may be more clarification or detail need to explain d uses of words.

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Submitted by zahra zaidi on Mon, 12/08/2013 - 08:43


Hey !

I just found this website & made my account here hoping that it will prove helpful for me in some aspect.

can you please elaborate me the exact meaning of "irony" and its use in our life. I'm bit confused in it.

thanks you !

Hey zahra zaidi,

Welcome to LearnEnglish!  For a definition of 'irony' why not use the Cambridge Dictionaries Online search tool on the right?  You'll get a definition, some example sentences and the pronunciation there.

As far as the use of irony in our lives goes, I don't think I can even begin to describe it!  People have written books on the subject.  Irony is often used as a form of humour, as a way of making a point either more strongly or in a more subtle way, as a way of making others smile or of hurting others.  It's used in all these ways and more, and it's used very very often.

I hope that begins to help you with your question!

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kpasali on Mon, 12/08/2013 - 07:09


to introduce ourselves on the phone,we use this is john or it is john ?

Hello kpasali,

We can actually use either, but the sentence is a little different:

'Hi, this is John'


'Hi, it's John here'

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Evamanukyan on Thu, 18/07/2013 - 13:22



Can you tell me the difference between the "Look there" and "Look over there".

Thank you

Hi Evamanukyan,


Did you have a specific context in mind? The difference between them depends somewhat on context, but in general there refers to a place that is distant from the speaker and over there refers to a place that is either more distant from the speaker or that the speaker is pointing to.


If you have any other questions, please let us know.


Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Bshayr29 on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:50


These are our book << This is my book

Those are our book >> That is my book


Submitted by MIDOU002 on Wed, 22/05/2013 - 19:12



Are these sentences are corrects?

Look at this

Look at that

Look at there


"Look there" is also correct. isn't it? Actually the word "there, here, up, down" refers to places, therefore we can add the word "Look" with these these words.

Look there.

Look here.

Look up.

Look down.


Correct it if I am wrong.


Submitted by alex_moon on Mon, 15/04/2013 - 10:54


Hallo, I am a new member here.

I am a bit confused:

Here you say: - we use this to introduce ourselves to begin a conversation on the phone:

Hello, this is David, Can I speak to Sally",

but then I see:

" We use it to talk about ourselves on the telephone:

Hello. It’s George."

Is there any difference? Thank you!

Hello alex_moon!


That's a good question! Using This is a little more formal. You would use This when calling people you don't know well, but you could use It or This for friends or family, especially in British English.

Hope that helps!




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by dg7 on Sun, 14/04/2013 - 11:54


On the page "this, that, these and those" there is this warning: "We don’t say These are John and Michael."

I have a question: is it grammatically wrong or is it impolite? If it is wrong, I would like to find explanations and exercises regarding this kind of problem (where "X and Y" should not be treated as a single set).

Thank you. :-)

Hello dg7!


That's an interesting question! I would say the rule is that we would never say These are (a/an) X and (a/an) Y, so it is a grammatical rule, rather than a question of politeness.


Hope that helps!


Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your replay,
but I still feel unsure. Is it possible to write: "John and Michael are my friends" ?

Is there a page where this kind of problem is explained?


Hello dg7!


Yes, it is possible to write John and Michael are my friends. This rule applies only to These are... I'm afraid we don't have a specific page on this problem - it's not a very common issue!




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Phisamai Phillipps on Mon, 08/04/2013 - 20:10


hi i am got 75 % i will do it again until i am remember how to use it.?

Submitted by rafiq420 on Mon, 25/03/2013 - 03:46


I got 100% yahooooooooooooooo......


Submitted by dorna on Fri, 18/01/2013 - 01:04


o god, not very good this time..
is my sentence right?

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Anybody .... I will be delight if you have advice and trick in use site to master English lesson. . . So I can save my time and reach my target effectively and efficiently

( I'm sorry, my English is not so good)


Hello afdhol19!


Welcome to LearnEnglish, and I'm glad you've found the grammar useful! We don't have material directly for TOEFL, but we do have a lot of listening material available. A good place to start is our Elementary Podcasts. These are short radio shows about different subjects. You can read the transcripts and do the exercises to help you understand the show. If you find these a little easy, our Professional Podcasts are a bit more challenging. If you have an MP3 player, download the files and take some English with you wherever you go.


To get the most out of listenings, try listening once without looking at the transcript, and don't worry about understanding every word. Then listen to them again with the transcript. Try to listen to something every day for best progress!




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team


Thanks  a lot to LearnEnglish Team for this nice space to learn English. I'm a new member. And I'm very glad to be here. 100% as score for this exercise.


Submitted by khaled_djeha on Fri, 21/12/2012 - 01:03


hi i got 74%


Submitted by khaled_djeha on Fri, 21/12/2012 - 00:48


it's very nice..Iknow after this lesson the different whit any pronunos...ah excuse me I ' new student..hello for all

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Submitted by parkhe.nana on Thu, 08/11/2012 - 13:56


Good exercise.  

Submitted by jmslayer on Sun, 28/10/2012 - 15:53

  • May I know what is whose means this is a compound word or not. Could anybody ​.

Hi ,

Whose is not a compound word it's not who +is or something . Whose is a question word used to ask about ownership . for example: whose car is this ? = who owns this car ?  

In the exercise Whose is (this) silver Mercedes over there?=who owns this Silver Mercedes over there?

Hope this help

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Submitted by etsuko 321 on Fri, 12/10/2012 - 02:38


why today can't play exercise?


We had some problems with the exercises yesterday - they should work now.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

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