It's a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie is working in India. She's doing her Christmas shopping in a local market.


We use this/that/these/those to explain what we are talking about. We sometimes use them with nouns and we sometimes use them on their own.

We use this (singular) and these (plural) to talk about things close to us, and that (singular) and those (plural) to talk about things at some distance away from us.

What about this shirt for Oliver?
No, hold on, what about that one over there?

So this is the idea of here and that is the idea of there?

Yes, exactly.

Wow, that market looks amazing. (= there. I'm not in the market, it's at some distance away from me)
This market is amazing. (= here. I'm in the market)

What about time? How does time affect this or that?

A good question. We use that to show distance in time as well as distance in space.

This is a good film. (we're watching it now)
That was a good film. (we saw it at some time in the past)

Are this/these and that/those always used with nouns?

No, we can use them as pronouns, without nouns, when it's obvious what they refer to.

What do you think about these for your Uncle Bob? (pointing to trousers)
I've never seen Uncle Bob in trousers like those. (those trousers, but we don't need to repeat trousers)
Who was that?

So they are useful words in shops or cafes. If you don't know the word for something, you can just say, 'Can I see that?' or 'I'd like those, please' and point.

Yes, they're very useful words!

I think I've heard this and that refer to more general things too, not just specific things.

That's right. This and that can refer to what somebody has said or what has happened. This could be several things or ideas.

That's right. (everything you said)
This is work you know! (all the things I'm doing)
That was a great concert! (something that has just happened)

What about phone language? How do people use this and that?

When you explain who is talking you say, 'Hi, this is Dan.'
And to check who is speaking, you can say, 'Is that Jenny?'

Can I say 'This is me'?

No. If you're phoning someone you know very well, you'd say 'It's me.'

What about introducing people to each other? Do I use this or that?

When you're introducing one person to another person, you say,  'Juliette, this is Marc'.

OK, thanks. That's all for now!


Total votes: 1128
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Did you enjoy this Grammar Snack? Do you think Oliver will like that shirt? ;)


Fidantugay's picture
Fidantugay 10 February, 2017 - 09:42

I am from Tovuz.
I am an English teacher I got information about this-these;that-those.It is a topic about marketing.This-these;that-those are used an topic. I am planning to use this site I liked it.

9 users have voted.
Tina - Coordinator's picture
Tina - Coordinator 10 February, 2017 - 17:27

Dear Fidantugay!
We are glad that you are planning to use our website! And thank you for your comments on LearnEnglish Teens. This website is specially for teenagers aged 13-17 years old and we must keep this strictly for teenagers to interact with each other. So if you are planning to use it with your class that would be excellent!
If you are studying English yourself then you are welcome to join our LearnEnglish page for adults and post comments there:

Best wishes, Tina (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

8 users have voted.
VShirleyCh's picture
VShirleyCh 2 January, 2017 - 15:26

This gramitic snack was excellent excellent and I think Olliver will be surprised, but do not forget, Sofie says: "I have surprise for you" Maybe Oliver called his mother before his sister and chose a gift for his sister ... Maybe he chose a strange gift, but I'm sure Oliver would like that shirt

15 users have voted.
Happ_Princess's picture
Happ_Princess 22 December, 2016 - 11:16

Ahahah I think Olliver will suprised, But don't forget, Sofie says : " I have surprise for you '' Maybe Oliver called his mom before his sister and chose a present for his sister....Maybe he chose a strange present

13 users have voted.
NATALYY's picture
NATALYY 9 June, 2015 - 07:47

I didn't see the video,but I reread this grammar, where can I found more difficult?I just want to learn something new,or revise something other...:-))Thanks in advance

104 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 9 June, 2015 - 11:13

Hi Natalyy! Did you know that every page has a language level shown just below the text? The level for this page is A1-A2, so if you want something more difficult, try B1-B2. You can search for those levels on our search page: And if you don't know what level you are, look at this page:

I hope that helps!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

97 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
SARAH K 29 May, 2013 - 09:14

Yes, I enjoyed it. I have studied this grammar before and it helped me to refresh my knowledge.
I don't think that Oliver will like the shirt, because he has a europian style while that is more a asiatic style.

252 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
Natalija 2 May, 2013 - 14:29

I was wondering if anyone knows were can be found some English expressions, more difficult ones, that are used very often. I'm participating at English competition, so I need it for practice. Thanks in advance:).

199 users have voted.