Demonstrative pronouns: About this and that

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Demonstrative pronouns are used to point to people, places or things in a sentence. More specifically, they are used to indicate proximity or distance – in time or space – between the speaker and the person, place or thing being referred to. This type of pronouns can therefore help make your communication more precise and effective.

The four most common demonstrative pronouns in English are ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘these’ and ‘those’. In Danish, they are roughly equivalent to 'den her', 'den der', 'de her' and 'de der'.

While ‘this’ is used to refer to something nearby or close, ‘that’ is used to indicate that something is far or further away. 'These' and 'those' are used (like ‘this’ and ‘that’) to refer to something, but in the plural form.

Near Far
Singular this
  • “My lunch today is this sandwich.”
    (When pointing to a sandwich you are holding in your hand.)
  • “That building on the other side of the street is Innovatorium.”
    (When pointing to something that is far/further away.)
Plura these
  • “These books are mine.”
  • “Where did you buy those books?”

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