That vs. Those in English Grammar

The Difference between 'That' and 'Those'

'That' and 'those' are both demonstratives. They point to a specific noun in a sentence. Here we will briefly look at their similarities and differences.

That vs. Those

Similarities

'That' and 'those' can be both demonstrative determiner or demonstrative pronoun. By 'demonstratives', we mean determiners or pronouns that are used to identify the person or thing that is being referred to.

Differences

Remember this rule:

  1. We use 'that' with singular and uncountable nouns
  2. We use 'those' with plural nouns

Distance

'That' and 'those' indicate and point to a person or object which is far from us (or it is not within our reach). This 'distance' can be physical and temporal, i.e. it can be related to the physical position of the thing or object or it can refer to the distance in time.

That cat is not going to catch that mouse .

Forget about those people . They were mean .

Introducing

Normally, for introducing someone to another, we use 'this' or 'these'. We use 'that' or 'those' for introducing only when we are talking to someone about another person. For example:

See that girl over there ? That's my daughter , Lucy .

Do you know any of those guys ?

Differentiating

When describing two people or things in two different groups, we can use 'this/these and that/those' to differentiate between them. For example:

I think that puppy is way more cuter than this one .

Those pants don't match with these shoes .

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