Difference Between These and Those (With Table)

‘These’ and ‘those’ are two plural words that are used commonly by English speakers all over the world. Both the pronouns cannot be interchanged for one other but must be used differently. Therefore, it is important to be able to distinguish between the two so that mistakes can be avoided.

These vs Those

The difference between these and those is that ‘these’ is used to refer to things or people that are near the speaker whereas ‘those’ is used to refer to things or people that are far from the speaker. The distinguishing factor here is the distance of the objects in question from the speaker in terms of space and time. 

The term ‘these’ is a demonstrative adjective. This means that it is used to indicate something or someone who is being spoken about. By doing so, they can be distinguished from others. The word ‘these’ is used to refer to something in the first or second person. The object that is being spoken about is either near the speaker or near the addressee.

The term ‘those’ is a demonstrative adjective as well. However, what makes it different from ‘these’ is that it is spoken in the third person. This means that the object in question is placed far from the speaker as well as the addressee. Unlike ‘these’, which is a proximal demonstrative, ‘those’ is a distal demonstrative.

Comparison Table Between These and Those

Parameters of ComparisonTheseThose
Plural‘These’ is the plural form of ‘This’.‘Those’ is the plural form of ‘Those’.
DistanceThe word is used to refer to something nearby in terms of space and time.The word is used to refer to something that is far in terms of space and time.
Type of Demonstrative‘These’ is a proximal demonstrative.‘Those’ is a distal demonstrative.
Perspective‘These’ is spoken in the first person (near the speaker) or in the second person (near the addressee).‘Those’ is spoken in the third person (far from the speaker and the addressee).
Intuition‘These’ is generally used when the speaker feels positive about the entity.‘Those’ is generally used when the speaker feels negative about the entity.
Usage‘These’ can be used to introduce someone.‘Those’ cannot be used to introduce someone.

What is These?

The term ‘These’ is a proximal demonstrative that is used to refer to an entity in the first or second person. The entity in question is placed near the speaker or the addressee who are conversing. The ‘nearness’ of the entity can be in terms of space as well as time. This means that ‘these’ can be used when someone or something is placed nearby in the present. It can also be used to refer to someone or something that was just being spoken about.

Along with being a demonstrative adjective, the term ‘these’ is also a pronoun. This means that that it is used to replace a noun. It can be used in a sentence when the speaker is introducing someone or something to the addressee. The term is generally used when the speaker has a positive feeling about the entity in question.

Some examples of ‘these’ when used in a sentence are –

‘These pictures are very beautiful, aren’t they?’

‘Mistakes like these will not be overlooked from next time onwards.’

‘It is a miracle that he woke up from a coma after all these years.’

‘I wonder if he knows where these people came from.’

Put these flowers in the vase before they spoil.’

What is Those?

The term ‘those’ is a distal demonstrative that is used to refer to an entity in the third person. The entity in question is placed far from the speaker as well as the addressee. The distance of the entity can be in terms of space or time. This means that ‘those’ can be used to refer to a person or thing that is placed at a considerable distance in the present. It can also be used to refer to someone or something that was being spoken about previously. 

‘Those’ is also a pronoun that replaces nouns in a sentence. It is the plural form of the word ‘that’. However, unlike ‘these’, ‘those’ cannot be used in a sentence when the speaker is introducing someone to the addressee. The term ‘those’ is generally used when the speaker is referring to something that he does not approve of or has a negative feeling about it.

Examples of ‘those’ when used in a sentence are –

‘Those flowers need to be kept in a vase before they spoil.’

‘Those people standing at the bus stop seemed very impatient.’

‘Those orders that I had made have not been delivered yet.’

‘Those boys are always up to something.’

Main Differences Between These and Those

  1. ‘These’ is the plural form of ‘this’ whereas ‘those’ is the plural form of ‘that’.
  2. ‘These’ is used to refer to an entity that is nearby in terms of space and time whereas ‘those’ is used to refer to an entity that is far.
  3. ‘These’ is a proximal demonstrative whereas ‘those’ is a distal demonstrative.
  4. ‘These’ is spoken in the first or second person whereas ‘those’ is spoken in the third person.
  5. ‘These’ is generally used with a positive connotation whereas ‘those’ is generally used with a negative connotation.
  6. ‘These’ can be used to introduce someone whereas ‘those’ cannot.

Conclusion

‘These’ and ‘those’ have a few overlapping characteristics that make it confusing to use them. For example, both are demonstrative adjectives as well as pronouns. However, a major difference between them is that ‘these’ is used to refer to an entity that is nearby in terms of space and time whereas ‘those’ is used to refer to an entity that is far.   

Another major difference between the two is that ‘these’ is used in the first and second person whereas ‘those’ is always used in the third person. Because of this, the term ‘these’ can be used to introduce someone whereas ‘those’ cannot be used to do so.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QkRdDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=these+vs+those+grammar&ots=jWQhiib-r0&sig=xgD8RkLO641YUenKV53eLhrcU2Y
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475158509000678

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