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Demonstrative adjectives in English.

How to use: this, that, these and those.

The demonstrative adjectives help us explain where things are in space. This and that are used to talk about singular or uncountable things. These and those are for plural things:


This (strawberry) ...


That (strawberry) ...


These (cherries) ...


Those (cherries) ...

The demonstrative adjectives come before the noun or other adjectives:

Here you are. This new English textbook is for you.

Look over there. Can you see that bird?

These exercises in this book are difficult.

Who are those strange people? I can't see.      top arrow

Demonstratives as pronouns.

The demonstratives can also be used without the noun as pronouns:

What's this on my shirt?

What's that over there?

What are those?

That is Mount Everest over there.

These are some photos of my holiday. Have a look.

Those are some new students. Let's go and meet them.      top arrow

Demonstratives and events in time.

These words can also help us explain where events are in time. This, these are usually used for events close to the present. That, those are usually for events a long way from the present. Events may be in the past or the future:

That terrible Monday was the worst day in my life.

This time I'll do it properly.

In those days I had long hair. That was twenty years ago.

These days my eyes aren't very good. I have to wear glasses now.

When I win the lottery, that will be a wonderful day!

Note that we say this + date when we refer to a date in the present time period. We say next + date if we refer to a date in a future time period:

I'll see you this Friday. (Today is Monday of the same week.)

Let's meet next Friday. (Today is Monday of the week before.)      top arrow

Exercises on the demonstrative adjectives and pronouns...



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