The following quotation is a line from Ron to Harry after the first stage of the Triwizard Tournament. (p359, Harry Potter 4, US edition)
“You were the best, you know, no competition. Cedric did this weird thing where he Transfigured a rock on the ground … turned it into a dog … he was trying to make the dragon go for the dog instead of him. Well, it was a pretty cool bit of Transfiguration, and it sort of worked, because he did get the egg, but he got burned as well – the dragon changed its mind halfway through and decided it would rather have him than the Labrador; he only just got away. And that Fleur girl tried this sort of charm, I think she was trying to put it into a trance – well, that kind of worked too, it went all sleepy, but then it snored, and this great jet of flame shot out, and her skirt caught fire – she put it out with a bit of water out of her wand. (The rest is omitted.)
I consulted dictionaries.
・(informal) used when you are telling a story or telling somebody about something.
eg) There was this strange man sitting next to me on the plane.
eg) I’ve been getting these pains in my chest.
It seems to me that I can use ‘this’ for a change whenever I’m bored with ‘a’.
・(Informal) an emphatic form of a or the: used esp on relating a story
eg) I saw this big brown bear
I can’t understand what it emphasizes. What does ‘an emphatic form of a’ mean?
I’ve seen this type of ‘this’ in some stories, but they are used only once in opening scenes, if I’m not mistaken. I tried to swallow ‘this’ by thinking it is needed for an opening scene which is very important in the story. But I can’t delude myself any more when seeing three ‘this’ in the above quotation. What kind of effect repeating ‘this’ have?
Let me get it straight. I’d like to know
- What makes you choose ‘this’ over ‘a’?
- What kind of effect does repeating ‘this’ have as in the above citation?