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Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
When to Use This and These
Monday August 19th 2019
Question
In "Who do this/these fish belong to?" should I use "this" or "these"? — Archal, Fiji
Answer

The words 'this' and 'these' are demonstrative adjectives. They come before a noun and they show who or what is being referred to.

In the sentence "Who do this/these fish belong to?" you know that 'fish' is a plural noun because it agrees with the verb 'do.' (If 'fish' were singular it would be used with 'does.'

To learn more about when to use 'do' and 'does' click here.

You should use 'these' before the plural noun 'fish.'

'This' should be used before a singular noun. Below are some examples of how it is used:


This book is the one I was telling you about.
Did you see this movie?
I really like this red hat.
This dog is so friendly!

 

'These' should be used before a plural noun. Below are some examples of how it is used:


I love these shoes.
These kids mean the world to me.
I love having a view of these mountains from our hotel room.
These days most people have cell phones instead of home phones.

 

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