Anglické jazykové okienko

Anglické jazykové okienko

Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI

This and that, these and those. The correct use of these words is a sure sign of good speaking and writing skills in English. We can focus on this and that, because these and those function the same way, only they refer to plural/multiple things. To improve their English, learners need to understand the limits of the pronoun "it". "It" can be used only when the speaker is sure that the listener knows what they are both talking about, i.e. what "it" refers to. Otherwise English speakers need continual reminders of what speakers or writers are referring to, hence the need for this and that. This refers to something relatively close, and that to something further away. This difference can be found in three dimensions, space, time and person.

Andy’s Wordshop

  More on this and that. In terms of space, this is physically closer ("Is this yours?" - I have something in my hand) and that is further away ("Listen to that!" - a noise outside). In time, this is something in the future, coming towards us ("Listen to this!" - I'm going to read something to you) and that is something in the past, going away from us ("Phew, that was close!" - we got on the bus just before the doors closed). In terms of person, this is mine or ours ("This one is ours" – I've spotted our  hire car in the parking lot) and that is yours, or someone else's ("That's a good idea" – your response to someone else's suggestion). Sometimes two dimensions combine, as in "This is what I think..." - I'm going to tell you my opinion, or "That wasn't very clever" – you just did or said a stupid thing (time and person).

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