Main Difference – This vs That
This and that are two of the most commonly used words in the English language. Both these words can be used as demonstrative adjectives and pronouns. In addition, the word that can also be used as a relative pronoun, which can connect two clauses or phrases together. However, the main difference between this and that is the fact that the word this is generally used to refer to something that is close by whereas the word that is used to refer to something that farther away in time and space. Therefore, this and that convey two different meanings although both have similar functions.
This article covers,
1. Grammar, Meaning and Examples of Usage of This
2. Grammar, Meaning and Examples of Usage of That
3. Difference Between This and That – Comparison of Meaning and Usage
This – Meaning and Usage
This can be used as a demonstrative adjective and a pronoun.
This as a Demonstrative Adjective:
Identify a specific person or thing that is close by or being indicated or experienced
This man told me that you were dead.
I don’t think this answer is right.
Refer to the nearest thing when talking about two things that are close to the speaker.
This shop has better options that that one.
This car is bigger than the other one.
Refer to a specific thing just mentioned.
She partied all night; this behavior worried her parents.
The police officers interrogated him because of this incident.
Used with periods of time, related to the present or immediate past.
I called her this morning.
Where were you this morning?
This as a Demonstrative Pronoun:
Identify a specific person or thing close by or being indicated or experienced
This is the man I told you about.
Is this yours?
Refers to a specific thing just mentioned.
This is to be their last holiday to Goa.
This made her late.
Introduces someone or something
This is my friend, Aisha.
This is my apartment.
This can also be used directly with adjectives and adverbs. In this position, it indicates a degree or extent.
I never thought that you would be this stupid.
That – Meaning and Usage
That also can be used as an adjective and a pronoun.
That as a Demonstrative Pronoun:
It can identify a specific person or thing observed or heard by the speaker
That’s a nice dress.
Is that Ben over there?
It can refer to a specific thing previously mentioned, known, or understood
That’s a very good idea.
What are you going to do about that?
That as a Demonstrative Adjective:
Refer to something that is physically far away (adjective).
Can you give me that pillow?
That mountain looks so small from here.
Refers to the more distant of two things near to the speaker.
That shop is better than this one.
I like that dress better.
Refers to a specific thing previously known, mentioned or understood.
I was living in Goa at that time.
Several people were injured from that incident.
Difference Between This and That
This is used with things closer to the speaker.
That is used with things farther away from the speaker.
This is used in introductions.
That is not used in introductions.
This cannot be used as a relative pronoun.
That can be used as a relative pronoun.
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