Mastering the Art of Using ‘This’ in a Sentence: A Comprehensive Guide


Learn how to skillfully employ the word ‘this’ in sentences to emphasize specificity and relevance. Explore various examples and rules to enhance your communication.


Definition of This

The word “this” is a demonstrative pronoun in the English language. It is used to indicate or point to something specific or near in location or time. “This” is typically used when referring to a singular noun that is close to the speaker or the context of the conversation.

For example:

  1. “I like this book.” (Here, “this” refers to a specific book that is close to the speaker or has been mentioned in the conversation.)
  2. “This is delicious.” (In this case, “this” is used to describe the food that the speaker is currently eating.)
  3. “I’ll take this one.” (Here, “this” is used to specify a particular item among several options.)

The usage of “this” is contrasted with “that,” which is used to refer to something farther away in location or time or something less immediate.


How is “This” used in English? What are the rules of use of “This”?

“This” is a demonstrative pronoun in English, and it is used to point to or indicate a specific object, person, idea, or situation that is close to the speaker in terms of proximity or relevance. Here are some rules and guidelines for using “this” in English:

  1. Demonstrating proximity:
    • “This” is used to refer to something that is near the speaker or near in time. It indicates closeness or immediacy.
    • Example: “This car is mine.” (The car is nearby.)
  2. Singular nouns:
    • “This” is typically used with singular nouns, whether they are countable or uncountable.
    • Example: “This book is interesting.” (Referring to a specific book.)
  3. Plurals:
    • When used with plurals, “this” is used to refer to multiple items or things that are collectively seen as a single unit or concept.
    • Example: “These cookies are delicious.” (Referring to a group of cookies as a collective whole.)
  4. Specificity:
    • “This” emphasizes specificity and often implies that the speaker or the context has already identified or introduced the thing being referred to.
    • Example: “I want to buy this dress.” (The speaker has likely already indicated which dress they are referring to.)
  5. Demonstrative adjectives:
    • “This” can also function as a demonstrative adjective when it is used before a noun to modify or describe it.
    • Example: “I like this movie.” (Here, “this” is a demonstrative adjective modifying the noun “movie.”)
  6. Demonstrative pronoun:
    • “This” can stand alone as a pronoun without a noun when it’s clear from the context what it refers to.
    • Example: “I want that book.” “This one?” (In this conversation, “this” stands alone as a pronoun referring to the book being discussed.)
  7. Contrast with “that”:
    • “This” is used for objects, people, or ideas that are close or immediate, while “that” is used for objects, people, or ideas that are farther away or less immediate in terms of location or time.
    • Example: “This restaurant is good, but that one is even better.”
  8. Emphasizing importance:
    • “This” can be used to emphasize the significance or importance of the referred item.
    • Example: “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.”

In summary, “this” is used to point out and emphasize something specific and close in proximity or relevance. It’s a versatile word in English and plays a crucial role in indicating what the speaker is referring to in a given context.

How to use the word This in a sentence?

You can use the word “this” in a sentence to refer to or point out a specific object, person, idea, or situation that is close to you in proximity or relevance. Here are some examples of how to use “this” in sentences:

  1. Demonstrating proximity:
    • “I love the view from this balcony.”
    • “Can you pass me this pen?”
  2. Referring to singular nouns:
    • “This book is my favorite.”
    • “I want to buy this car.”
  3. Referring to plural nouns as a collective unit:
    • “This team has great potential.”
    • “I can’t resist these chocolates.”
  4. Emphasizing specificity:
    • “I need this document signed by tomorrow.”
    • “This restaurant serves the best sushi in town.”
  5. As a demonstrative adjective:
    • “I bought this shirt yesterday.”
    • “She painted this picture herself.”
  6. Standing alone as a pronoun with context:
    • “I like that shirt. Do you like this?”
    • “This is my favorite song.”
  7. Emphasizing importance:
    • “This is a crucial decision we need to make.”
    • “I can’t stress enough how important this meeting is.”

Remember that the choice to use “this” depends on the context of your sentence and what you want to emphasize or point out as specific or relevant at that moment.

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