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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #1

    This or That

    Hi,

    When I write operation procedure, I am confused by the usage of "This" or "That". For instance,

    Insert a patch cord into the port named "ADD_IN". That port is used to....

    Should I say "That port" or "This port"?

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards,

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,092
    #2

    Re: This or That

    Quote Originally Posted by steadyj View Post
    Hi,

    When I write operation procedure, I am confused by the usage of "This" or "That". For instance,

    Insert a patch cord into the port named "ADD_IN". That port is used to....

    Should I say "That port" or "This port"?

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards,
    It has to be 'this'. You've just named it.
    Ask yourself: Is there any other port that the reader could confuse this instruction with? If not, always use 'this'.
    There are only a few occasions where you would need to consider a different word. For example, if you'd named the paragraph "The OUT port", as below:

    The OUT Port
    This port is the output for the device.
    Insert a patch cord into the port named "ADD_IN".
    This port is used to...


    If you had written this, 'this' or 'that' in the final sentence would be ambiguous, in either case.

    Only on rare occasions would you use 'that', and even then, it would be best not to:
    Insert a patch cord into the port named "ADD_IN". If there is no port labelled "ADD_IN", but a red port similar to the one labelled "ADD_IN" in the diagram, use that port.
    You could still use 'this' here, or better 'the red port', so maybe you will never have to use 'that' as an adjective at all.
    Last edited by Raymott; 29-Jul-2009 at 02:39.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #3

    Re: This or That

    Thank you Raymott. I should have paid enough attention in my middle school to avoid the struggle in the elementry problems now :). Can I simply apply the principle "You've just named it", so that "It has to be this"?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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      • English
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      • Australia
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    #4

    Re: This or That

    Quote Originally Posted by steadyj View Post
    Thank you Raymott. I should have paid enough attention in my middle school to avoid the struggle in the elementry problems now :). Can I simply apply the principle "You've just named it", so that "It has to be this"?
    You can, as long as you don't cause any ambiguity.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #5

    Re: This or That

    Quote Originally Posted by steadyj View Post
    Hi,

    When I write operation procedure, I am confused by the usage of "This" or "That". For instance,

    Insert a patch cord into the port named "ADD_IN". That port is used to....

    Should I say "That port" or "This port"?

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards,
    Generally speaking, with 'that' the speaker is distancing themselves spatially, temporally, or emotionally from the referent of the pronoun. I would not say applying 'that' would be incorrect in your example.

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