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This, That, These Or Those?

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What do you think of this t-shirt, Mac?

We use this for something close (here) and that for something further away (there).

 

Rory is talking about a t-shirt that he is holding so he uses this.

 

Mac prefers the orange t-shirt hanging up behind Rory. So he uses that.

Mac and Rory are shopping for clothes.

Ehhh, what about that orange t-shirt behind you?

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I like that one. It’s different!

You don’t have to use the noun with that. You can use it as a pronoun.

 

  • That t-shirt is too orange.

  • That is too orange.

  • That one is too orange.

That? No, that’s  too...orange.

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The same goes for this.

 

  • This t-shirt is perfect.

  • This is perfect.

  • This one is perfect.

Nonsense. This is perfect.

It’s very similar to what you already have.

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This is great fun!

Yeah. Do you remember when we went shopping with Mum? That was not fun!

We use this to describe the present and that to describe the past. 

 

  • When we went shopping with Mum (in the past) … that wasn’t fun!

 

  • We are shopping without Mum (now) … this is fun!

Rory is looking for shoes now...

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Those shoes over there are so cool!

OK, where are the boys’ shoes?

We use these and those for plural nouns.

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What about these? I like the look of these ones.

We can use these and those without a noun too.

  • What about these shoes?

  • What about these?

  • What about these ones?

  • I prefer those shoes.

  • I prefer those.

  • I prefer those ones.

I prefer those, over there.

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Right Mac, I’m going to try on all these new things.

When Mac and Rory get home...

We also use that to comment on things, for example...

 

  • That is a great idea.

  • That is true.

  • That’s a cool new jacket.

  • That’s a nice car.

  • That’s a friendly dog.

That’s a great idea, Rory.

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Well, what do you think?

...eh….that t-shirt is so… you! And those shoes...I don’t know what to say!

  • similar: when something is very like something else 

  • already: before now 

  • get home: arrive home

Glossary

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similar but not the same

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10 Questions Quiz

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Choose another grammar story now

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