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This vs. These: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 16, 2023
"This" refers to a singular noun nearby or being experienced, while "These" is its plural counterpart.

Key Differences

"This" is a demonstrative pronoun used to identify a specific singular noun that is usually physically close or is figuratively important in context, while "These" performs a similar function but is used for plural nouns.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023
"This" is also used to introduce someone or something, as in "This is my friend," whereas "These" introduces or refers to multiple people or objects, as in "These are my friends."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023
In a temporal context, "This" refers to the current event or period, such as "this week," whereas "These" would not typically be used in this manner, as it addresses multiple items or events.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023
"This" can emphasize the subject in discourse, adding immediacy or relevance, for example, "This is what I need." In contrast, "These" emphasizes the immediacy or relevance of multiple objects, "These are what I need."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023
"This" can also be used to indicate a preference for one object in a group, as in "I'll take this," while "These" indicates a preference for several objects, as in "I'll take these."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Number

Singular
Plural
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Proximity

Refers to something close in distance/time
Refers to multiple things close in distance/time
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Function

Identifies/introduces a singular noun
Identifies/introduces plural nouns
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Contextual Usage

Emphasizes immediacy or relevance of one item
Emphasizes immediacy or relevance of multiple items
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Preference

Indicates a choice for one item
Indicates a choice for multiple items
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023
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This and These Definitions

This

Used to introduce a person or thing.
This is Jane, my colleague.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

These

Demonstrative pronoun used to indicate specific, plural items near in space, time, or thought.
These are the highest priorities right now.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

This

Used to refer to the present time or situation.
This is the moment we've been waiting for.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

These

Used to introduce more than one person or thing.
These are my brothers, Frank and Joe.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 21, 2023

This

Indicates the next item in a sequence.
After that step, you do this.
Harlon Moss
Oct 21, 2023
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These

Refers to a familiar or recurrent situation.
Not these problems again!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 21, 2023

This

Refers to something just mentioned or about to be mentioned.
The solution to this is simple.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 21, 2023

These

Refers to specific things just mentioned or implied.
These are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 21, 2023

This

Being just mentioned or present in space, time, or thought
She left early this morning.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

These

Indicates a group of items physically near the speaker.
These need to be signed before we proceed.
Janet White
Oct 21, 2023

This

Being nearer or more immediate
This side and that side.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

These

Plural of this
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

Being about to be stated or described
Just wait till you hear this story.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

These

Plural of this
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

(Informal) Used as a substitute for the indefinite article
Looking for this book of recipes.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

These

The plural of this. See This.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

To this extent; so
Never stayed out this late.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

The (thing) here used in indicating something or someone nearby.
This classroom is where I learned to read and write.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

The known (thing) used in indicating something or someone just mentioned.
They give the appearance of knowing what they're doing. It's this appearance that lets them get away with so much.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

The known (thing) used in indicating something or someone about to be mentioned.
When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he gave this reply: “[…]”
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

(informal) A known (thing) used in first mentioning a person or thing that the speaker does not think is known to the audience. Compare with "a certain ...".
I met this woman the other day who's allergic to wheat. I didn't even know that was possible!
There's just this nervous mannerism that Bob has with his hands, and it drives me crazy.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

(of a time reference) Designates the current or next instance.
It's cold this morning.
I plan to go to London this Friday.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

To the degree or extent indicated.
I need this much water.
Do we need this many recommendations?
We've already come this far, we can't turn back now.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

The thing, item, etc. being indicated.
This isn't the item that I ordered.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

(philosophy) Something being indicated that is here; one of these.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

(Internet slang) Indicates the speaker's strong approval or agreement with the previous material.
― I wish trolls could be banned from the forum immediately, without any discussion.
― This!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

As a demonstrative pronoun, this denotes something that is present or near in place or time, or something just mentioned, or that is just about to be mentioned.
When they heard this, they were pricked in their heart.
But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

As an adjective, this has the same demonstrative force as the pronoun, but is followed by a noun; as, this book; this way to town.
This way and that wavering sails they bend.
A body of this or that denomination is produced.
Their judgment in this we may not, and in that we need not, follow.
Consider the arguments which the author had to write this, or to design the other, before you arraign him.
Thy crimes . . . soon by this or this will end.
This twenty years have I been with thee..
I have not wept this years; but nowMy mother comes afresh into my eyes.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

This

Demonstrative pronoun for a singular item, either physical or metaphorical.
This is exactly what I was looking for.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 21, 2023

FAQs

Does "This" always precede a noun?

Not always; it can stand alone or precede a noun.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 16, 2023

Can "This" and "These" be used interchangeably?

No, "This" is singular, and "These" is plural.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Can "These" refer to items spread over a long period?

Yes, if they're considered part of a collective group.
Harlon Moss
Nov 16, 2023

Can "This" start a sentence?

Yes, often when introducing ideas or items.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Can "These" indicate something in the past?

Generally, it refers to things immediate or present.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Are "This" and "These" used only for objects?

They can refer to objects, people, situations, or periods.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Is "These" used with specific verbs?

It's not tied to specific verbs but to the plurality of the subject.
Harlon Moss
Nov 16, 2023

Can "These" be used in questions?

Yes, like "What are these?"
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Can "This" refer to something far away?

Generally, it's used for items close in distance or context.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Are "These" and "Those" the same?

No, "These" is for nearby items; "Those" for farther away.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Is "This" used in formal writing?

Yes, it's standard in both formal and informal contexts.
Harlon Moss
Nov 16, 2023

Can "These" be used without a following noun?

Yes, it can stand alone when the noun is understood.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Does "This" change form in different tenses?

No, "This" remains the same in all tenses.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Can "These" be used for non-countable nouns?

No, "These" is used for countable, plural nouns.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Is "This" a pronoun or an adjective?

It can function as both, depending on usage.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Does "These" imply physical proximity?

Often, but it can also imply figurative proximity.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

Is "This" used for emphasis?

It can be used to emphasize the subject in context.
Harlon Moss
Nov 16, 2023

Can "These" be used in negative sentences?

Yes, e.g., "These are not what I expected."
Harlon Moss
Nov 16, 2023

Can "This" refer to an abstract concept?

Yes, it can refer to both tangible and intangible items.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023

Can "This" refer to a person?

Yes, when introducing or emphasizing.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 16, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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