Demonstrative pronouns in English (lesson with examples)
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WHAT ARE THE DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS IN ENGLISH?
A demonstrative pronoun is used to replace a particular thing (singular or plural), which has already been mentioned before, or which can be designated by the context.
- this / that
- these / those
these is the plural of this, those is the plural of that:
- this dog / these dogs
- that cat / those cats
There is no gender difference:
- this boy and this girl
- those men and those women
This, that, these and those can be used as determinants or pronouns:
- Take this pen
- Take this.
- Give me that book.
- Give me that.
What is the difference between THIS and THAT?
We choose between this and that to show the degree of distance from the person speaking. As a general rule, this/these marks proximity to the enunciator, that/those marks distance:
THE DISTANCE IN SPACE
THIS or THESE is used to talk about a person, thing or place that is close to the person speaking:
- This is my brother
- These are my shoes.
- Is this your pen?
THAT or THOSE is used to talk about a person, thing or place that is further away from the person speaking:
- I can see that from here.
- That man over there is my boss.
- Those men are detectives.
DISTANCE IN TIME
THIS refers to the future or the present, THAT to the past (to talk about something that is not present):
- On that day, she was really tired, but she’s feeling better this week.
- That movie we watched last night was awesome.
- That dog is dangerous!
- I hate this tee-shirt, but I love those shoes!
1 – THIS can be used to announce something, and THAT to refer to the past:
- This is what she told me: “You can do it!”
- “You can do it!”: that‘s what she told me.
2 – To avoid a repetition: we can forward this/that by one, and these/those by ones :
- Which photo do you prefer? This one or that one?
- Which fruits can you eat ? These ones or those ones?
3 – To compare:
- I don’t like those trousers. These are a bit better.
- This tee-shirt is nice; that one is ugly.
4 – This, these, that, that, those can be pronouns and replace a name or a sentence:
- I think this is awesome! (This replace something we know.)
5 – To contact us by phone:
- Hello, this is Jane speaking. Who is this?
6 – This and these can refer to situations that are happening:
- Listen to this song. (NOT: Listen to
7 – That and those can refer to experiences that have just ended:
- Who said that?
- Who did that?
8 – We use THAT in expressions like that’s it and that’s that
- That’s it, I’m going home.
- I broke up with Claire, and that’s that.
9 – Other uses:
- The best movie of the festival was that made by Spielberg.
- We are organizing a trip to London. Those interested should speak with Sam.