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.

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?




Wedded wife. I looked for in the dictionary and these have the same meaning. Can´t we say only wife?

Hello simonenmourao,

Yes, 'wedded wife' is pretty unusual -- 'wife' is much more common and more appropriate for most contexts.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

oh, I finish all the sentences.
That's great !

Sir, I'm sorry to post it here but I did not really find How to post it on comparing and contrasting-modifying comprative page. please turn that on. Sir, I say to my brother " The harder you work The earlier you will get success". could I also say that You will get success as earlier as you work harder or as earlier as harder you work. One last question, you will remember me as much as you forget me or The more you forget the more you remember what should I say ?

Hello SonuKumar,

The alternatives to the 'the' + comparative + 'the' + comparative construction that you ask about are not grammatically correct. 'You will remember me as much as you forget me' and 'The more you forget the more you remember are grammatically correct, though.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir what is the full form that's what ? is it that is what or that was what ? if both please explain and when do we use this is what rather than that is what?

Hello SonuKumar,

'that's' can be a contraction of either 'that is' or 'that has', but not 'that was', so here it must mean 'that is what'.

I'm afraid we can't explain the full context for things like this - there are simply too many possibilities and we are not here to provide private tuition but rather answer specific questions, mostly about the content on our website. If you have a specific context in mind, however, feel free to ask us about it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

What is different between "Who's that ?" and "Who's there ?" ?

Hello Anh Tu 24,

In most contexts, there is essentially no difference in meaning – both ask about the identity of a person that is not visible. 'Who's there?' might more likely be used in a situation where you're not expecting a person to be there (e.g. when you arrive home and sense that someone else is there – creepy!) and 'Who's that?' might more likely be used when in a situation where someone being there is not a surprise (e.g. when you make a phone call and don't recognise the other person's voice).

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Krik