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!



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


Arivelde's picture
Arivelde 24 March, 2021 - 19:46

Yes this was a lovely Grammar Snack. I don't know if Oliver will like his new shirt, but after all, it's just a shirt and also it's a gift from his mum advised by his sister, so I think that won't be any truble.

0 users have voted.
Cfvdv's picture
Cfvdv 22 March, 2021 - 20:57

Yes, I certainly enjoyed this grammar snack, it´s very good to improve my english. And no, I don´t think Ollie will like that shirt... :/

0 users have voted.
Didik's picture
Didik 15 March, 2021 - 17:57

Yes, I realy like this grammar snack. I don´t think Oliver is going to like that shirt, isn´t his style.

0 users have voted.
TR790's picture
TR790 20 May, 2020 - 14:51

I really liked this Grammar Snack video and I don't think Oliver will ever like that shirt.

1 user has voted.
Sherry4869's picture
Sherry4869 12 May, 2020 - 15:58

Yes, I enjoyed this Grammar Snack. This was fun. I think Oliver won't like that shirt.

1 user has voted.
BttChiara's picture
BttChiara 2 April, 2020 - 18:03

Yes, I enjoyed a lot yhis grammar snack. I think that Oliver won't like that shirt because is a weird T-shirt.

1 user has voted.
MatildePace's picture
MatildePace 2 April, 2020 - 14:32

Yes, I did. I think that Oliver won't like that shirt because he preferes the black one.

1 user has voted.
gattifederica's picture
gattifederica 31 March, 2020 - 15:21

Yes, I did. Because I think these videos are very useful to improve my English. I think Oliver won’t like that shirt, because he likes dark colors, while the shirt chosen by his mother is red and with many flowers.

3 users have voted.
Dreamyoverflow's picture
Dreamyoverflow 17 August, 2018 - 15:47

I enjoyed the grammar snack it is very useful for me in the furture. I do not think oliver will like that t-shirt it was way to colorful for him :D

2 users have voted.