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Using “that” and “this” interchangeably
“How did I do this” or “how did I do that”?

Since I'm French-Canadian, I have a hard time figuring out this one.

Speaking of a physical object like a stamp, a lamp or anything collectable what would I use:

  1. Is this genuine?
  2. Is that genuine?

What's the better usage when speaking of the authenticity of the item in question? If you have better ideas (other than the two listed) feel free to add them.

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marked as duplicate by kiamlaluno, jwpat7, RegDwigнt Dec 8 '11 at 18:18

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I'm not sure how "this" or "that" is related to authenticity of items. You would choose based on the proximity of the object, just as you would in any other context. –  KitFox Dec 8 '11 at 17:49
    
@Kitḫ Yeah I know but imagine someone asking this question to you in that context. Which one would be "better"? –  AlexV Dec 8 '11 at 17:53
    
As Henry notes, this if it's in your hand, and that if you're pointing at it (in the display case, for example). It doesn't help that they're both (trying to recall my schoolboy French) "Est-ce vrai?" for AlexV. –  Gnawme Dec 8 '11 at 17:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Authentic, "of origin as claimed", might be a better word than genuine in the context of collectables. Or one could ask, "Is this ersatz, imitation, a lookalike, a reconstruction or is it vintage?"

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@AlexV, if this answers your question (which seems to be the case, since you selected it as the best answer), then your question needs to be seriously rewritten, after which it can possibly be reopened. Right now, you seem to be asking about the difference between "this" and "that", but this post is answering a question about synonyms for "authentic". –  Marthaª Dec 9 '11 at 1:31

I would this if I was holding it and that if I was pointing at it.

Sometimes either will work, for example if I put it on the counter.

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