How is this used in a sentence

This or that? - The correct use of demonstrative pronouns

The use of the demonstrative pronoun may sound old-fashioned and formal to some native speakers, so it is used less frequently these days. Although the demonstrative pronouns "this" and "that“Mean the same thing, they are used in different contexts.

As placeholders, both usually refer to an already mentioned fact, a person or an object.

They are often used to contrast two people or objects. If you want to avoid linguistic repetitions, especially in the written language, you should use the demonstrative pronouns "that" and "this“Use it properly.


In principle, both demonstrative pronouns are inflected just like adjectives without an article, but the genitive masculine and neuter is formed with -es instead of -en.

Nominative that / this those / these that / this / this these
Genitive thoseit/thisit that / this thoseit/thisit this
dative that / that that / this that / that this
Acuent those / these those / these that / this / this these

It is not uncommon for there to be incorrect formulations, such as “beginning / this year” or “during / that day”.

The general use of demonstrative pronouns

a) “This” and “that” are used as substitutes for a noun (Pronoun) or as Article words used and therefore cannot stand alone.

  • I'm going to ski this winter. What happened that day? (Article word)
  • Take this (bottle), that one is empty. (Pronoun)

b) “This” is an abbreviation of “this” and in the nominative and accusative neuter mostly refers to a previous sentence.

  • She refused the marriage proposal. This surprised your life partner.

“This” can only be used in a set of equations with feminine or masculine nouns or nouns in the plural, but not with neutral nouns in the singular.

  • / That pretty girl.
  • This is his new wife.
  • Those are my medals.

c) “This and that” is also a phrase and phrase.
d) In combination with a person or a name, it expresses a (negative) evaluation.

  • I don't feel comfortable with this president.
  • What this Mr. Müller was thinking.

The use

“This” or “that” denotes one previous facts or refer to a person who has already been mentioned in the conversation or in the text. The person or the situation can be spatially and / and temporally distant, with "this" pointing to something closer and "that" pointing to something more distant. Accordingly, “this” expresses spatial / temporal proximity, whereas “that” indicates distance.

  • This ring is more beautiful than the one in the shop window.
  • Take this key because it broke off.

The spatial / temporal distance can also refer to the first-mentioned and last-mentioned facts within a text. “This” refers to the last-mentioned aspect and “that” to the first.

  • The Vice President and Bishop were present; this one (the bishop) gave a sermon, that one (the vice-president) a political speech.

Occasionally "former" and "latter" are used as substitutes.

  • The princess and the king sat on high horses, the latter a wise man, the former a pretty woman.


  • This"Indicates something spatially / temporally closer and"that“Towards something more distant spatially / temporally.
  • The spatial and temporal distance can also relate to the position of individual facts in the text.