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This and That, These and Those, Than and Then

This vs. That

This and that are singular. This indicates something physically nearby. It may also refer to something symbolically or emotionally “close.”  That can refer to something “over there” or to something that is not as symbolically or emotionally “close” as this is.

Examples:
This dog is mine.
This is mine.
That dog is hers.
That is hers.

These vs. Those

These and those are the plural equivalents of this and that.

Examples:
These babies have been smiling for a while.
These are mine.
Those babies in the nursery have been crying for hours.
Those are yours.

Than vs. Then

Use than to show comparison. Then answers the question when. It also means in that case or therefore.

Examples:
I would rather go skiing than rock climbing.
First we went skiing; then we went rock climbing.
If it snows, then we’ll go skiing.

 

Pop Quiz

1. This/these tables need to be cleaned before customers arrive.
2. Please clean this/that table in the corner.
3. These/those clothes in the other room need to be folded.
4. That/those toaster burned my bagel.
5. We reached the summit of the mountain and then/than collapsed.
6. I would rather starve then/than eat oysters.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

1. These tables need to be cleaned before customers arrive.
2. Please clean that table in the corner.
3. Those clothes in the other room need to be folded.
4. That toaster burned my bagel.
5. We reached the summit of the mountain and then collapsed.
6. I would rather starve than eat oysters.

Posted on Friday, July 18, 2008, at 5:48 pm


4 Comments

4 Responses to “This and That, These and Those, Than and Then

  1. Tami says:

    How do you punctuate the following:

    Many people think golf carts are just for the golf course. But the truth is with a few modifications almost any cart can “street legal”.

    or “street legal.”

  2. Jane says:

    You should write: But the truth is, with a few modifications, almost any cart can be “street legal.”
    Note that I added two commas, the word “be” and placed the period inside the quotation mark.

  3. Karen says:

    Which is correct? I never know how to use these.

    “Please communicate the new rate to the affected (effected) employees.”

  4. Jane says:

    affected employees

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