This vs These
This and these are pronouns that are used very commonly in English language. ‘This’ is a singular pronoun and used for a single object while ‘these’ is a plural pronoun used for several objects. Many students of English language confuse between this and these in some instances. This article attempts to make clear the distinction between this and these and their usage to enable people to use these pronouns correctly.
This and these are two of the 4 pronouns that are used to refer to objects close by or when they are not far away from us. This boy becomes that boy when the boy is standing far away from us and we are talking about him. On the other hand, these boxes become those boxes when we are standing far away from them and refer to them when talking with someone else. But why do people confuse between this and these?
If we have a pencil in our hand and we refer to it, we say this pencil is mine, but when we have several of them in our hand, we have to use these instead of this to refer to the fact that there is not one but many pencils. The thing to remember with this and these is that we use these pronouns for people and objects when they are near to us. For example, if you are introducing your friend to someone else, you say, this is my friend Helen. But when you have two of your friends standing next to you, you have to say these are my friends Helen and Lily. Also, you do not use these with names like these are Helen and Lily. You have to say this is Helen and this is Lily. When you are talking on the telephone, you use this to introduce yourself.
Hello, this is David, can I talk to Helen?
Proximity to objects often decides the usage of this and these. When you are close to an object, you refer to it as this ball or this wall. If there are many chairs and you want to place one over the others, you say place this chair over these chairs.
• This book is the best among all these books.
• I will use this paint to apply on all these walls.
• This is my mother.
• These are my parents.
• I do not like the design of this shoe.
• These shoes are too big for me.
What is the difference between This and These?
• ‘This’ and ‘these’ are pronouns that stand for people and objects especially when they are close to the speaker.
• ‘This’ is a singular pronoun, whereas ‘these’ is a plural pronoun.
• You have to use ‘this’ when talking about a single object that is close to you.
• You have to use these for individuals or objects that are close to you.