Difference between These and Those

March 22, 2017 by Editorial Team

“I will have these/those delivered tomorrow.”

Whether you use “these” or “those,” this sentence would still be grammatically correct. However, it is important to note that the two words are used differently and are not interchangeable. So what’s the difference between the two? This article will discuss the difference between “these” and “those.”

Descriptions

These vs Those

The word these is the plural of “this.” It is used:

  • When the object (people or things) is plural and is near the speaker physically; for example: These are my new calligraphy pens. (The speaker is holding the pens.)
  • To introduce people to other people; for example: Hi, Dad. These are my new teammates, Ronnie, Betty, and Kevin.
  • When talking about things that the speaker feels positive about or the things that are emotionally close to the speaker; for example: I love these mats made of recycled plastic!
  • When talking about something that recently happened or to introduce a person or thing in a narrative; for example: Yesterday, these so-called insurance representatives forced me to sign some fraudulent documents.

On the other hand, the word those is the plural of “that.” It is used:

  • When the object (people or things) is plural and is away from the speaker; for example: Look at those hot air balloons! They are so far up in the air they look so tiny!
  • When the speaker is talking about are two groups of things next to each other, the second group can be referred to as “those” although both groups are the near the speaker; for example: These Danish cookies are all mine, and those cheap candies are yours.
  • When talking about things that the speaker does not approve of or things that the speaker does not feel positive about; for example: Ugh! I saw her designs yesterday. Gosh, I hate those awful leatherette blouses!

These vs Those

What, then, is the difference between these and those?

“These” is the plural form of “this” whereas “those” is the plural form of “that.”

The biggest difference between the two is that “these” is used when the speaker talking about things or persons near him or things that he feels positive about. “Those” is used when the speaker is talking about things or persons far from him or things that he does not approve of.

Additionally, “these” is used when introducing people to other people. It is also used to introduce persons or things in a narrative. On the other hand, “those” can also be used to refer to the second group of persons or things (when the speaker is talking about two groups) the speaker is talking about even if both groups are near him.

To easily remember this, keep in mind that: “these are here, those are there.”

Comparison Chart

TheseThose
Plural form of “this”Plural form of “that”

Used when the speaker is talking about things or persons near him

Used when the speaker is talking about things or persons far from him

Used to talk about things the speaker feels positive about

Used when the speaker is talking about things that he does not approve of

Used to introduce people in real life and in a narrative

Used to refer to the second group of things or persons (when there are two groups of objects next to each other) the speaker is talking about