Determiners include demonstratives or demonstrative determiners, also called demonstrative adjectives, the most common of which are thisthatthese and those


As determiners, this and that come before singular nouns, and these and those being plurals of this and that respectively are used in front of plural nouns. These determiners are also used to indicate a near (this) or distant (that) object, number of the object (this/that = one; these/those = more than one); or definiteness of something or someone (this thing or this person = not that thing or that person). Determiners and the nouns that they modify must also agree in number (e.g. this donkey is/these donkeys are; that monkey has/those monkeys have). 




  • This bucket has a hole in it.
  • Behind that fat monkey is a small monkey.
  • The children sleep on these mattresses on the floor.
  • We are ready to chop those cabbages.



Demonstratives this and that are used with singular nouns, while these and those are used with plural nouns.


    • This colour 

      is not found in the rainbow.


    • That hill 

      was shaped almost like a human head.


    • These footprints are left by a three-toed creature.

    • They were trying to hatch those dinosaur eggs. 



Demonstratives this and these are used to indicate specific person/people and thing/things, etc. that is/are close to the speaker, and that and those show that it/they is/are not near to the speaker.


  • Look at this photo of Nessie.
  • I will ask that policeman the way to the police station.
  • Listen to these voices and tell me whose.
  • Those 



    came from the roof.




Nouns need not follow these determiners if the meaning is understood. With no nouns following these determiners, they are no longer determiners; they become pronouns.


  • Whose is this?
  • Don’t touch these..
  • Look at that, everyone.
  • Those are not mine.



The words; this, that, these, and those that come before a number that represents a noun are not determiners; they are pronouns.


  • This one 

    smells as bad as

    that one.

  • These two 

    are bigger than those three.




If there is an adjective modifying a noun, the demonstrative comes before the adjective.


  • This ugly scar is caused by an operation. 



  • That big turkey makes a funny gobbling sound.



  • These edible snails are our favourite.



  • Those old blankets are full of holes. 





The words – thisthatthesethose – besides being determiners, are also used as pronouns. One good way to distinguish between them is that a determiner, unlike a pronoun, comes before a noun.



This potato is still hot.

This is a hot potato.

That duckling is ugly.

That is a very ugly duckling.

These apples are rotten.

These are rotten apples.

Those dark clouds are gathering overhead.

Those are dark clouds gathering overhead.