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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





Please help. which is the correct sentence? and Why? thankyousomuch
a. what are these?
b. What these are?

Hello Kimramin,

The first one is correct. The word order in simple wh-questions is wh-word ('what') + verb/auxiliary verb ('is') + predicate ('these').

See our Question forms page for a more detailed explanation.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

What is the difference between using it and that on phone
in example Hello, this is David, Can I speak to Sally?
Can I say Hello, It's David .... istead of this ?

Hello asmaa,

Yes, 'it's' is also commonly used here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

uhm, "english vocab and grammar" include grammar like this lesson and where can I find the vocab section?
sorry if this question aren't relevant to this lesson

Hello poinsettia.noel,

Our Vocabulary exercises section currently has 30 pages on different topis. We plan to release ten more pages soon, and then will be releasing another 25 pages over the next few months.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi There,

About uncountable nouns, we have to use plural or singular?


This, That advice


These, Those advice

Thank You

Franz Vegetarian

Hello Franz,

Uncount nouns are grammatically singular. You can read more about them on our uncount nouns page.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Why is this not right?
Those trousers are not the righ size. Can I change them?