Demonstratives - This, That, These, Those
The words ’this’, ’that’, ’these’, and ’those’ are called demonstratives. They tell us whether an object is close to you, or far away.
If you are talking about something close to you, use ’this’ and ’these'.
This is my pen.The pen is close to you.
Are these books yours?The books are close to you.
If you are talking about something farther away, use ’that’ and ’those'.
That is my house.The house is down the street.
I like those flowers.The flowers are over there.
Distance is not just physical distance. We can use ’this’, ’that’, ’these’, and ’those’ to show distance in time.
I like this film.I am watching the film now. It is close in time, so we use ’this'.
I liked that film.I watched the film last week. It is far away in time, so we use ’that'.
Singular and Plural
Demonstratives relate a noun. We use a different demonstrative depending on whether the noun is singular or plural.
If the noun is singular we use ’this’ and ’that'.
This penYou are talking about one pen.
That houseYou are talking about one house.
If the noun is plural we use ’these’ and ’those'.
Those pensYou are talking about many pens.
Those housesYou are talking about many houses.
You can use demonstratives in two ways. You can use them to modify a noun or to replace a noun.
If it modifies a noun, it is called a demonstrative determiner.
If it replaces a noun, it is called a demonstrative pronoun.
Demonstrative determiners modify a noun. We use ’this’, ’that’, ’these’, or ’those’ before the noun we are talking about.
this/that/these/those + noun
I like this film.‘This’ modifies the noun, ‘film’. It tells us the film is close to the speaker.
Demonstrative determiners are also called demonstrative adjectives.
Demonstrative determiner = Demonstrative adjective.
We can use ’this’, ’that’, ’these’, and ’those’ as pronouns. They replace the noun.
This is my brother.
John is my brother.
We can use ’this’ as a pronoun to replace the noun ‘John’.