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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




Hi Wong Pui Yi,

The first sentence should start with 'This' and the second sentence should start with 'That'.

We choose singular (this/that) or plural (these/those) demonstratives according to the first noun in the list. In your sentences the first nouns ('jacket' and 'teddy bear') are singular, so we use singular demonstratives.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, My Dady is planning to buy a mobile, So he asks me to select one of the given options, and I just simply say "Dad, Which should be brought it depends on you"
Now Could I also say it in the following manners ?
"Dad, Which is to be brought depends on you",
"Dad, Which to be brought depends on you" or
"Dad, Which to bring depends on you" which are right ? And One last question Which Is to be brought (it) depends on you. is 'it' optional in this sentence or not ? please help.

Sir, We go to a mobile shop to buy a mobile 'me and my Dad' Now I see a mobile and say "Dad, let's buy that mobile, that is very fantastic and its battery back is also good" Now writing this sentence I understood something that 'The word That here is demonstrative pronoun or adjective ? but could only it be a subject of sentence ? and in that sentence could we use its, his and her as its possessive pronoun ?

Excuse me,
Which one is correct ?!
Who said that or who said this.
For ex:
If someone tweet an information and I want to ask about who said that/This ? In this situation which one is the best ?

Hello Lelouch9,

The choice is really context-dependent but I would say that in general 'that' is used to refer to things further away and 'this' to things closer. In terms of time, we would use 'that' when we are referring back to something that was said before and 'this' when we repeat the quote in our question.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot

We don’t say These are John and Michael.
We say This is John and this is Michael.
Bur sir ,how below sentence is correct then ?
I'm John and ..these... are my children Molly and Jake.


The reason we use 'these' in the second sentence is because we have a plural noun ('children') before the names. Compare the following:

This is John and Michael.

These are my friends, John and Michael.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

Which is a better option to introduce ourselves on phone or email? "It" or "this"? I mean "This is Bilal here." or "It is Bilal here."? Which one is most recommended?

Thank you.

Hello Bilal.Mustafa,

We would use 'this' rather than 'it' but there are several options:

Hello, this is Bilal.

Hello, Bilal here.

Hello, my name is Bilal. I'm calling to ask...

The last of these is more formal and would be used when we are phoning someone we do not know.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team