Demonstrative pronouns direct attention to a specific person, place, or thing. There are only four demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these and those.
- This is better than that.
- Put those down – they are dirty.
- Hello. This is Alice. Is that Ruth?
- Who is that?
We use this/these to talk about people and things which are close to the speaker.
- This is very nice – can I have some more?
This/these can refer to situations and experiences which are going on or just about to start.
- Listen to this. You will like this.
- Watch this. This is a police message.
We use that/those to talk about people and things which are more distant from the speaker, or not present.
- That smells great – is it for lunch?
- Get that cat off the piano.
That/those can refer to experiences which have just finished, or which are most distant in the past.
- Did you see that? Who said that?