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Demonstratives: this/these, that/those (these and those are plural).

This, that, these and those are called demonstratives. As determiners, this and that appear before singular nouns, and these and those being plurals of this and that respectively come before plural nouns.

Examples:

  • Thiscolour is not found in the rainbow.
  • That hill was shaped almost like a human head.
  • These footprints are left by a three-toed creature.
  • They were trying to hatch those dinosaur eggs.

 

We use the demonstratives this and these to refer to specific people, things, etc. that are close to us, and that and those that are not near to us.

Examples:

  • Look at this photo of Nessie.
  • I will ask that policeman the way to the police station.
  • Listen to these voices and tell me whose.
  • Those strange noises came from the roof.

 

Nouns need not follow these determiners if the meaning is understood.

Examples:

  • Whose is this?
  • Don’t touch these.
  • Look at that.
  • Those are not mine.

 

The determiners can also come before one.

Example:

  • This one smells the same as that one.

 

The words – this, that, these, those – besides being determiners, are also used as pronouns. One good way to distinguish between them is determiner, unlike pronoun, comes before nouns.

Determiner Pronoun
This potato is still hot. This is a hot potato.
That duckling is ugly. That is a very ugly duckling.
These apples are rotten. These are rotten apples.
Those dark clouds are gathering overhead. Those are dark clouds gathering overhead.