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Use of 'this' – relates to the directly preceding noun

I am a german native speaker. I am currently in the finishing stages of writing a thesis. One of my advisors (English is his mother tongue) provided feedback on the language of my writing. One point ...
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That vs This in uncommon contexts

I can see the difference between "this" / "that" in most common contexts. There are a couple of unusual ones, though, that are still pretty unclear to me. Here are some of them: 1.A friend of ...