Nouns: this | that | these | those

Questions
Overview

When referring to objects, we use this (singular) and these (plural) to talk about things that are near to the speaker. We use that (singular) and those (plural) to talk about things that are not near to the speaker.

Tips:

  • it is common to use this and these with the word here:
    • Look at these flowers here! Aren't they beautiful?
  • it is common to use that and those with the phrase over there:
    • Who is that man over there?

We also use this to introduce other people:

  • This is my friend, John.

Talking about time, we usually use this to refer to the present:

  • This is my first time in London (you are in London now).

We use that to talk about the past:

  • I went to India in 2012. That was a fantastic trip.
Further learning
Description Author Language
Basic summary of when to use these nouns. Inglês Minuto
Easy rule and explanation for when to use 'this' or 'that'. Blog da Focus
How to use 'this' and 'that' when talking about physical objects and time. English with Nick