The right use of this, that, these, those


The words 'this, that, these, those' are used to indicate or demonstrate subjects and are hence called 'Demonstrative Pronouns'. A demonstrative pronoun has the ability to complete a sentence on its own and it usually replaces the noun, instead of modifying it. However, care should be taken to use them in the right context in any English grammatical scenario.


Usage of 'this, that, these and those':

A. 'This' and 'These'.

'This' is used to denote a singular thing and 'these' are used for plural ones. This/these help to denote something or someone that is near us or could even be used as an introduction. In short, they are used to display the relative distance between the speaker and the noun.


1. This is my house.
2. These are our friends, Janet and Robin.
3. This is a nice bowl of soup.
4. Whose packets are these?
5. This is Rajat.
6. These are Rajat's colleagues.
7. This is John and this is Rachel.
8. Hello, this is Rahul. Can I speak to Suresh?
9. We have lived in this house for 20 years.
10. Have you read all these papers?

B. 'That' and 'Those'

'That' is used in singular circumstances and 'those' are used in plural scenarios. It is used to show something at a distance.


1. That is my house.
2. Those are very expensive cars.
3. What is that?
4. That is a great job.
5. That's Ranjit's farmhouse over there.
6. Whose vehicle is that?
7. Who lives in that apartment?
8. Those are beautiful flowers.
9. That is a dam.
10. That phone line is busy.

Usage with nouns

C. Usage with nouns:

Demonstrative adjectives can be directly used with nouns in certain situations.


1. This party is exciting.
2. Those muffins are delicious.
3. Those paintings are beautiful.
4. This café is fantastic.
5. That building is tall.
6. That man is insane.
7. These packages are suspicious.
8. This puppy was found abandoned.
9. That player has got talent.
10. These are mobile phone cases.

D. Further rules

>'This' is usually followed by 'is' and 'these' by 'are'.
>'That' is usually followed by 'is' and 'those' by 'are'.
>When any verb has been shown to happen recently, 'this/ these' is used.
>When any verb has been shown to happen in the past, 'those/that' is used.

Now let's have some fun tests:

A. Test 1

Fill in 'This, that, these or those'

1. _________ are watches.
2. _________ are my new CD's.
3.__________ is Alan's farmhouse over there.
4.__________ are beautiful flowers.
5. ________are my shoes.

Answers: 1. Those 2. These 3. That 4. Those 5. These

Choose is/are

1. These _____ rulers.
2. That ___ a guitar.
3. This ___ a box.
4. Those ___ my father's hats.
5. This ___ a red scarf.

Answers: 1. are 2. is 3. is 4. are 5. is.

singular and plural

The above explanations and examples will show you the correct usage of demonstrative pronouns. A proper understanding is required as you need to make use of the English language on a regular basis. Make sure to improve your spoken English skills with the help of an online English grammar course to help you get well-acquainted with the language. On your English learning journey, ensure to use Basic English as far as possible, until you develop a great hold over the lingo.

Happy English learning folks!

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