This and That


In this lesson you'll learn about the demonstrative adjectives and pronouns this and that, as well as how they are used in the English language.


The words this and that can be used both as demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns. A demonstrative adjective is used to indicate a specific noun. A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that replaces a specific noun. This lesson includes several examples to show how they are used.

Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative Adjectives are used to talk about specific things and people. The words this and that are two very common demonstrative adjectives in English. When comparing objects, this is generally used to describe the object or event nearer in distance or time to the speaker, and that is generally used for the object or event further away in distance or time. A demonstrative pronoun comes before the noun it describes.

Both this and that have plural forms as shown in the following table.

Singular Plural
nearer this these
further that those

Some other common demonstrative adjectives are first, second, third, other, former and latter.

Demonstrative Pronouns

This, that, these, and those are also used as demonstrative pronouns. The difference between a demonstrative adjective and pronoun, is that a demonstrative pronoun completely replaces a noun.


That idea is great! Demonstrative adjective
That is a great idea! Demonstrative pronoun
This book is better than that book. Demonstrative adjectives
This is better than that. Demonstrative pronouns
Those apples taste good. demonstrative adjective in the plural form since it is referring to more than one apple
These apples are better than those. Demonstative adjective and demonstrative pronoun

That as a Conjunction

Not only is that used as a demonstrative adjective and demonstrative pronoun, but it is also used as a conjunction.


I believe that you are right. That joins the two ideas I believe and you are right into one sentence.
I think that that is a great idea! The first that is a conjuction and the second that is a demonstrative pronoun.


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