These vs Those: Difference and Comparison

‘These’ and ‘those’ are two plural words that are commonly used by English speakers all over the world. Both 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. These refer to items that are near the speaker or the subject being discussed, while those refer to items that are farther away.
  2. “These” is a demonstrative pronoun used as a substitute for a noun, while “those” is a demonstrative adjective that modifies a noun.
  3. These can also refer to a group of people or things, while those are used to refer to a specific set of people or things that have already been mentioned.

These vs Those

These” is used to refer to objects or people close to the speaker, either physically or conceptually. These are the books I need to return to the library” is used when the speaker is close to the speaker. “Those” is used to refer to objects or people that are further away from the speaker, either physically or conceptually.

These vs Those

The term ‘these’ is a demonstrative adjective. This means it is used to indicate something or someone 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, it differs from ‘these’ because 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

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 used when the speaker feels positive about the entity.‘Those’ is 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.

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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 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 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.

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The term ‘those’ is used when the speaker refers to something 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’ refers to an entity that is nearby in terms of space and time, whereas ‘those’ refers 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 used with a positive connotation, whereas ‘those’ is used with a negative connotation.
  6. ‘These’ can be used to introduce someone, whereas ‘those’ cannot.
Difference Between These and Those
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475158509000678

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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15 thoughts on “These vs Those: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I never really paid attention to the difference between ‘these’ and ‘those’. I appreciate the informative comparison here.

    Reply
  2. I’ve always found the use of ‘these’ and ‘those’ a bit confusing, but now I understand perfectly. Thanks for clearing that up!

    Reply

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