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Using “that” and “this” interchangeably

I wanted to know the differences between this and that.

When do you use one or the other? For example:

Too good question, I am that person who likes to have reverse page numbering, it is very motivating to read a book with this numbering.

In the above example should I use this or that?

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marked as duplicate by Alenanno, RegDwigнt Sep 18 '11 at 19:19

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1 Answer 1

A very simple summary which I found, without getting too complicated would be the distance they are from the speaker:

Use "this" for one object (singular) which is here (near to us).

Example: This is a book in my hand.

Use "that" for one object (singular) which is there.

Example: That is his car over there.

In your example, it would be "that numbering", because of the fact that there is no real book at hand, but there might be somewhere else. In the same way that you referred to yourself as "that person" who likes reverse page numbering. Yes, one would use "that" in your situation.

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For my example should I use this or that? Since the book is not with me and so it is not here, and also since it is a concept of doing something like that, it is not yet there. Please elaborate on this, where the object is not present. –  Kirk Hammett Sep 18 '11 at 19:08

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