[Grammar] This /That

Status
Not open for further replies.

Will17

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
UK
Hello!

I sometimes have problems understanding how we use "this" and "that". I understand the theory but I regularly hear counter-examples!

Anyway, Can we say: Who told you this? Or Do we have to say "that" in this case?

Thanks
W
 

sarat_106

Key Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Oriya
Home Country
India
Current Location
India
Hello!

I sometimes have problems understanding how we use "this" and "that". I understand the theory but I regularly hear counter-examples!

Anyway, Can we say: Who told you this? Or Do we have to say "that" in this case?

Thanks
W

We use “this or that” while referring to objects that are nearby or away in space or time. In other words 'this' refers to 'here' and 'now' whereas 'that' to 'there' and 'then'.
But here, the usage refers to something which can be a concept or idea or news. So ‘that’ is preferable if that something is not nearby, or previously mentioned (which is usually the case).
 

Heterological

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
Sarat is correct, and you'd do well to follow that advice on an English exam. However, in daily conversations among native speakers, the rules are much more relaxed; "that" can be used for almost anything near or far, past or present.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top