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




In lesson 02, It is written that we use "It" when we talk about ourselves on the phone; like "Hello, Its George". But in this chapter, It is written that we use "This" to introduce about ourselves on the phone; like, "Hello, this is David," . So, which is correct and If both are correct then, how shall we know whether we have to use it or this on the phone? I'm confused!

Hi Sidra

Both are fine. I use "Hello, it's Jack here". However, there's nothing wrong with using "this is Jack".



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much Jack....


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Thanks, British Council.

First thank you so much, second in this lesson we use this and these for people or things and we use that and those for things this mean we use that and those just for things. 

How comes that we can say ,,I'm John and these are my children Molly and Jake." but we can't say These are John and Michael.

Hi Sola,
I think that the reason is:
When John says "These are my children Molly and Jake" the plural refers to 'children'.
There is only one Molly and only one Jake.
 So you would use the singular if you wanted to say "This is Molly and Jake".