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  1. probus's Avatar
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    #1

    At this point vs at that point

    We are selling some real estate, and received a puzzling communication from our agent. She mentioned some contingencies that might or might not occur, and continued "At this point we have to do such and so." I"m afraid I replied rather indignantly that there is nothing at all we have to do until we know how the contingencies turned out. Belatedly it occurred to me that she may have meant "at that point."

    To me, at this point means now, and at that point means at some other specific time. Do others share that understanding?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: At this point vs at that point

    Like you, I would take "At this point" to mean "now". I would use "that" to refer to the time when those things do/don't occur. However, you will see "at this point" used in the way she used it to refer to a point in the future.

    You might see something like this in a list of instructions:
    - Click on "Users".
    - Click on the dropdown menu and choose "Private User".
    - At this point, you will have to make sure your username is correctly displayed.
    - Click on your username.
    - Click "Confirm".

    In that list, "At this point" clearly refers to the point you will be at after you have completed the first two steps. It doesn't refer to "right now".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: At this point vs at that point

    I don't think "at that point" would make sense there.

    My advice: Never reply to any business memo or letter indignantly. Just speak directly to the issues and questions at hand.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: At this point vs at that point

    Hi there! To be honest, I was completely sure that there is no difference between these two expressions, but now I will be interested to read the information about it as well!

  5. Moderator
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    #5

    Re: At this point vs at that point

    Risfy1994, please read this extract from the Forum Guidelines:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly in your post. Please note, all posts are moderated by our in-house language experts, so make sure your suggestions, help, and advice provide the kind of information an international language teacher would offer. If not, and your posts do not contribute to the topic in a positive way, they will be subject to deletion.

  6. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: At this point vs at that point

    no, she was correct
    you just indignantly told her how correct she was

    I'm English and speak English English.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: At this point vs at that point

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry-blonde View Post
    No, she was correct. You just indignantly told her how correct she was.

    I'm English and speak English English. See below regarding the underlined part.

    Strawberry-blonde, please ensure that you use correct capitalisation and punctuation at all times in your posts. Your member profile shows that you are a native speaker, so learners on this site will assume that everything you write is correct.

    We don't use "English English" to refer to a variant. You can say that you speak "British English", normally abbreviated here to "BrE".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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