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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005
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    Default "5 of this", "5 of these" or "5 of them" ?

    When I check out at a grocery store, if I have 5 bottles of water and only want to take 1 onto the belt, I generally tell the cashier:

    "I have 5 of this in total".

    Sometimes, I hear people say : "5 of those".

    So, which one is correct ?

    If "5 of this" is correct, can there be a situation that "5 of these/those" is also correct. If yes, please give me an example.

    And how about "5 of 'em" ? Is it correct as well ?

    As usual, thank you very much for your help. You are just terrific.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: "5 of this", "5 of these" or "5 of them" ?

    Oh my dear teacher,

    My question has been dusted for such a long time without any mercy

    Please kindly answer it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: "5 of this", "5 of these" or "5 of them" ?

    [1] I have 5 of these [bottles].
    [2] I have 5 of those [bottles].
    => The speaker omits the word 'bottles' to save time and energy.

    Note, 'these' refers to many items near the speaker, whereas 'those' refers to many items not near the speaker. For example, the check-out employee might ask, "Do you have 5 of those?", because the 5 bottles of water are not close by.

    [3] I have 5 of this [brand or kind of water]. (but, it's not the Standard)
    => The speaker omits the word 'brand' or 'kind of water'.

    Note, 'brand' is singular so it takes a singular modifier; 'water' is a non-count noun, so it takes a singular modifier; e.g., this water, *these water is ungrammatical.

    [4] I have 5 of them.
    => The speaker uses a pronoun instead of a noun. The pronoun 'them' is plural and it refers to bottles of water. It's an object pronoun. It's the object of the preposition 'of'. That's why it's not *I have 5 of they.

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