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Thread: These or they?

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    #1

    These or they?

    Hello.


    Are 'they' and 'these' always used as they are given in the book? Or is it possible to use ''these'' instead of ''they'' someyimes?


    A.What are the these/they?

    They/these are lions.

    B.What are these? (do you use 'they' when referring to inanimate things?

    These are chairs.

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    #2

    Re: These or they?

    "What are these?", "What are those?" and "What are they?" are all possible depending on the context.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: These or they?

    I thought these sentences are based on the rule that if you are talking about animals you can either use ''these'' or ''they'', and if you are talking about inanimate things only ''these'' and never ''they'' should be used.

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    #4

    Re: These or they?

    The spoken emphasis- shown in bold type- is important.

    1. What are these? (something near me) or What are those? (something away from me) I am indicating something to someone else. We are discussing them for the first time.
    1a. What are they? (things either near or far that we both have already acknowledged) This sentence often comes after something like: 'Do you see these/those?' In this case, I hope that the listener can help me understand what the things are. 'Do you see those things? What are they?'

    1b. I wouldn't say, 'What are they?' as I pointed to something for the first time.

    It's interesting you used the example of lions. "These are lions" tends to indicate we are close to the lions, and I don't care to be close to lions! In my tutoring on the subject of these/those, I use the sentence: _______ dogs are close to us. The logical choice is these, but what if you are afraid of dogs? Even dogs away from us (those) might seem too close, so the speaker might say Those dogs are close to us.

    It doesn't matter if the thing in question is an animal or an inanimate object.
    2. I saw those things when I walked in the room. What are they? They are spoons.
    3. We are in the market together. I point and say, 'What are those?' You reply, 'They/those are eels.'
    Last edited by J&K Tutoring; 18-Jun-2019 at 14:18.

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    #5

    Re: These or they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    I thought these sentences are based on the rule that if you are talking about animals you can either use ''these'' or ''they'', and if you are talking about inanimate things only ''these'' and never ''they'' should be used.
    Where did you read/hear that "rule"? It's nonsense.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: These or they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    I thought these sentences are based on the rule that if you are talking about animals you can either use ''these'' or ''they'', and if you are talking about inanimate things only ''these'' and never ''they'' should be used.
    That has to be one of the most preposterous rules I've ever heard. Did a teacher really tell you that?

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    #7

    Re: These or they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    if you are talking about inanimate things only ''these'' and never ''they'' should be used.
    If you are talking about inanimate things, use it for the singular and they for the plural. You can use this/that/these/those when appropriate, but there's nothing wrong with they at all.

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    #8

    Re: These or they?

    No. No one told me that. I was judging by the examples given in the book. In each question the book uses:''these''(what are these?) and in asnwers:''they''(they are lions, books, etc). The book I am talking about is Oxoford Discover for children.

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    #9

    Re: These or they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If you are talking about inanimate things, use it for the singular and they for the plural. You can use this/that/these/those when appropriate, but there's nothing wrong with they at all.
    And if I am talking about animals. Are all the forms appropriate? ''this/that/these/those and they''.

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    #10

    Re: These or they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    And if I am talking about animals, are all the forms appropriate, ''this/that/these/those and they''?
    .

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