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I’ve posted 5 photos on my timeline. Have you seen these/those photos? You’ll love these/those photos! These/Those photos were taken in France.

Should I use “these” or “those” when I refer to something in the first sentence?

Are there any simple rules that I should follow?

NOTES:

I know that I should use “this(singular)” and “these(plural)” for things that are near me.

I know that I should use “that(singular)” and “those(plural)” for things that are far from me.

In my example there is no “distance”.

What should I do? Changing the sentence is not an option.

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1 Answer 1

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Neither sounds good, but "those" is more natural.

You are asking about which demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) most appropriately mean "the aforementioned." It's hard to specify a rule that answers the question generally. But I would say you only use "these" when you want to emphasize that you mean specifically the aforementioned photos, and NOT some other ones. In other cases, default to those.

I know you said that changing the text was not an option, but it sounds terrible as it is. Just for the record, I would rewrite it as:

I’ve posted 5 photos on my timeline. Have you seen them? You’ll love them! They were taken in France.

When it's phrased like this, the these/those confusion is irrelevant. Also, reusing the word "photos" multiple times, as is done in the original, makes the text feel stilted and robotic.

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