Demonstratives

Specify which one—this, that, these, those

marbles
 

 

Demonstratives — this, these vs. that, those

NEAR

The demonstrative this marks a noun as singular and near; these marks a noun as plural and near. When placed before a noun, this or these is a determiner. When the noun is omitted, this or these is a pronoun.

SINGULAR

marblesThis blue marble is mine. (determiner)

This marble is mine. (determiner)

This is mine. (pronoun)

PLURAL

these marblesThese colorful marbles are mine. 

These marbles are mine.

These are mine.

FAR

The demonstrative that marks a noun as singular and near; those marks a noun as plural and near.  When placed before a noun, that or those is a determiner. When the noun is omitted, that or those is a pronoun.

SINGULAR

that marble

That red marble is yours. 

That marble is yours.

That is yours.  (pronoun)

PLURAL

marbles farThose multicolored marbles are yours. 

Those marbles are yours. 

Those are yours. 

 

See: Determiners "Basic Markers".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demonstratives

Express emotional proximity or distance

book flying

 

 

Demonstratives

NEAR

The determiner this is used before a definite noun, something that you can point to, something that is physically close or emotionally close.  This present is exactly what I wanted. but also This guy was really helpful.

PHYSICALLY – NEAR

This guy is my classmate. 

(near – physical presence)

EMOTIONALLY – NEAR

This guy thought I was nice. 

(near — emotional presence; not physically present)

NEAR

The distant form of this is that.  Sometimes that is used for something that is physically more distant, but also when something is emotionally distant. That is awful. That guy is a jerk. That woman cut in front of me.

PHYSICALLY –FAR

That guy is my boyfriend. 

(far – physical presence)

EMOTIONALLY – FAR

That guy doesn't like this guy. 

(far — emotional presence)

 

guy (n.) — male (informal use)

This guy walks into a bar and says…   "This" is often used informally in place of "a" when a person is telling a story.  See Narration.

 

 

 

 

Expressions

EXPRESSION EXPLANATION EXAMPLE

THAT'S IT! / THIS IS IT!

a "eureka moment"; said when finding something

Why don't you trying this method.

That's it!  Thanks.

THAT'S ALL

finished

Is there something else you want me to do?

That's all.

THATS ALL RIGHT /OK

said after someone apologizes;

don't worry

I'm sorry. I stepped on your toe.

That's all right.

THAT'S A WRAP

the project or filming is finished;

wrap up

We have shot (filmed) the final scene.  (film production)

That's a wrap.

THIS OLD THING

said when a person does not want to attract attention (the evil eye)

What a beautiful sweater.

This old thing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

This guy just called you and asked for an interview.

I did not have sex with that woman! — President Bill Clinton

SOLUTION

A man just called you and asked for an interview.

This is used in speech informally.  Use a and man in more formal situations (academic and business use).

I did not have sex with the young woman. 

Bill Clinton made a critical mistake when he used that instead of the. His choice of words expressed emotional distance or disgust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Jean Shopping

ugly jean pocketstight-fitting jeans
 

 

Read the context

Jack:  Man! I really hate my jeans. The jeans fit me badly. 

Eric:  Why don't you buy some new jeans.  The jeans over there aren't so tight.

Jack: OK. (He tries them on.) I like the jeans. But the color is drab.

Eric:  How about the pair of jeans I have here?

Jack: OK. I'll try the jeans on. I like the color better.

Jack:  Hand them to me. Ah! Are you kidding? The pockets are ridiculous.

Eric: Yeah. They really are!  Sorry, dude, I didn't turn the jeans around.

Jack:  That's all right. I'll get the first pair. They fit me better.

Eric: Good idea.

are you kidding (expression) — are you joking; (disapproval)

drab (adj.) – a dull color, not very bright

dude (n.) — male, informal use

Man! (interjection) — surprise, anger, disappointment, strong feeling

pocket (n.) —  a piece of material on clothing that forms a pouch to carry things, usually located on or near the hips.

ridiculous (adj.) — silly, awful, bad-looking, laughable

 

 

 

Use demonstratives  this, that, these, those or pronouns it or they or them.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 1-11" button.

 

1.

2.
(Jack is wearing them.)

3.
Eric: Why don't you buy some new jeans. (Eric is holding them.)

4.
(Jack is holding them.)

5.
(Jack is holding them.)

6.
(Eric is holding them.)

7.
(Eric is still holding them.)

8.

9.

10.

11.