Mastering These and Those Adjectives

The Definitive Guide: Proper Usage of These and Those Adjectives

No Comments

Derek Cupp

By Derek Cupp

I’ll let you in on a secret: mastering the use of ‘these’ and ‘those’ adjectives can elevate your writing. It’s not just about grammar rules; it’s about enhancing clarity and adding flavor to your prose. I’ve got your back on this journey, providing a definitive guide that shines a light on these often misunderstood adjectives.

Confusion around ‘these’ and ‘those’? You’re not alone. Many stumble over when to use them, how they differ, and why it even matters. Yet, understanding their proper usage is integral to crafting clear, compelling content.

Embarking on this linguistic exploration will transform the way you write and communicate. So join me as we unravel the mysteries of ‘these’ and ‘those’.

Understanding the Basics of These and Those

Let’s dive right into the basics of using “these” and “those” adjectives. It’s all about distance – physical, temporal, or emotional. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down.

“These” is used to refer to items that are close in space or time. Imagine you’re in a shoe store pointing at a row of shoes on a rack near you. You’d say, “These shoes are stylish.” Here ‘these’ indicates proximity.

Similarly, when talking about recent events or periods you could say something like: “These days I’ve been getting up early.” You’re referring to the present days or days close to the present time.

On the other hand, “those” implies some kind of distance – again this can be spatial or temporal. So if those stylish shoes were on a rack across the store from where you’re standing, your sentence becomes “Those shoes are stylish.”

As for temporal usage think back to your childhood memories; they lie in the past so it would be appropriate to say “Back those days I used to get up late“. The table below illustrates these points:


Spatial Reference

Temporal Reference


These shoes are stylish (nearby)

These days I’m getting up early (present/close)


Those shoes are stylish (far away)

Back those days I got up late (past/far away)

I’ll share another interesting fact: feelings can play into which adjective we use too! If we feel emotionally close to an event/person/thing then we might use ‘these’. But if there’s emotional distance involved? That’s right – ‘those’ may be more fitting!

Keep these nuances in mind as you navigate your English language journey! We’ve only scratched the surface here but understanding these basics will certainly help elevate your skills.

Application Criteria for ‘These’ and ‘Those’

I’m sure you’ve often wondered, “When do I use ‘these’ and when should I use ‘those’?”. Well, let’s dig into that right now.

First up is the word ‘these’. It’s a demonstrative adjective used to refer to items close in proximity or time. For instance, when pointing out objects near you, you’d say “Look at these books on my desk.” Here, the books are physically close to you. Likewise, if an event happened recently like a birthday party last weekend, it would be correct to say “Did you enjoy these pastries from my party?”

Now onto ‘those’. We use this term when referring to objects or time periods further away from us. Say there are plants at the other end of your garden; then it’s appropriate to say “Can we water those roses over there?” Similarly in terms of time distance: if your high school reunion was held three years ago, saying “Remember those days back in high school?” is spot on.

Let me put this into a quick table for easy reference:

Demonstrative Adjective






Just remember one thing: context is key! The words aren’t interchangeable as they each hold their specific place in our language.

Got all that? Great! Keep practicing and soon enough it’ll become second nature for you. Trust me – mastering the proper usage of ‘these’ and ‘those’, will not only enhance your written communication skills but also boost your confidence while speaking English! So go ahead and start incorporating them correctly into your conversations today!

In Summary: Mastering Adjective Usage

Diving into the world of adjectives, I’ve broken down how to navigate the use of ‘these’ and ‘those’. They might seem simple, but these two words can trip up even the most experienced English speakers. Let’s break it down.

Firstly, let’s remember that both ‘these’ and ‘those’ are demonstrative adjectives. They point to specific things. While they serve similar roles in sentences, there is a clear difference in their usage.

‘These’ refers to items close at hand or ideas being discussed. It’s used when the objects or people are within our reach or sight. On the other hand, we use ‘those’ when referring to items further away or not directly within our grasp or sight.

Here’s an example table for clarity:

Demonstrative Adjective



Look at these apples on the table.


Can you get those books on the top shelf?

But what about situations where physical distance isn’t involved? That’s where context comes into play! When talking about abstract ideas, concepts, or time periods – we still use these same rules of proximity.

Here is another handy table:

Demonstrative Adjective



These methods from last meeting were effective.


Remember those times back in college?

There you have it! The key thing I want you to take away from this guide is that understanding context and proximity will help you master the usage of these demonstrative adjectives – “these” and “those”. No need for stress – with practice and attention to detail, you’ll be using them like a pro in no time!

And don’t worry if you slip up now and then – even native speakers mix them up sometimes! Keep practicing; keep learning; keep growing your language skills step by step!

Remember my mantra: comprehension over confusion. We’re here to make English easier for everyone.

Leave a Comment