Correct use of demonstrative pronouns

April 24, 2012pdf

The pronouns which point out the objects which they refer to are called demonstrative pronouns. There are four demonstrative pronouns in English: this, that, these and those. Such is also sometimes considered as a demonstrative pronoun.

  • Is this your book?
  • Who is that girl standing at the gate?
  • These are important instructions for you.
  • Those were the happiest days of my life.
  • These two shirts are good but this is better than that.
  • He had to leave in haste; such was the situation.
  • The climate of Mumbai is better than that of Chennai.

This is used to refer to an object close at hand. That is used to refer to an object at some distance. This shows proximity and that shows distance or remoteness. These is the plural form of this and those is the plural form of that.

Common mistakes

The phrases that of and those of are important ones and cannot be left out. Study the following examples.

  • Incorrect: The climate of Mumbai is better than Chennai.
  • Correct: The climate of Mumbai is better than that of Chennai.

Here the comparison is between the climates of two cities (Mumbai and Chennai) and not between the climate of Mumbai and the city of Chennai.

  • Incorrect: The students of our school are better than their school.
  • Correct: The students of our school are better than those of their school.

Here the comparison is between the students of two schools, and not between students and schools

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."