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Example #1

This site contains links to books that I read. I recommend these/those books.

NOTE: The links are on this site, but not on this page. The links are external links.

Should I use these or those? Why?


Example #2

This page contains links to books that I read. I recommend these/those books.

NOTE: The links are on this page, but you might have to scroll down a little to find them. The links are external links.

Should I use these or those? Why?


Example #3

I read “Book Name + Link”, “Book Name + Link”, and “Book Name + Link”. I recommend these/those books.

NOTE: The links are external links.

Should I use these or those? Why?


NOTE: This question and this question doesn’t help me.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, phenry, Hellion, aedia λ, Matt E. Эллен Feb 26 '14 at 16:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Strictly speaking, "these" is used for things close to the speaker, while "those" is used for things distant from the speaker. The rule of thumb is to stand in one spot: if you could touch one of the objects you're talking about without moving, use "these". If you'd have to point to indicate them (or if you can't even do that), use "those".

However, distance isn't always literal. Let's look at @user26732 suggests "these books": this is correct, even though you might not literally be able to touch the books as you write this. From the standpoint of your text, you "brought them close" when you presented a specific list. If you'd only mentioned a genre or author or style or some other category, without mentioning any specific works, then "those" would be appropriate. For example, "You might be able to find what you're looking for in medical texts; I recommend that you read some of those" would be appropriate.

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There is a great deal of misuse of these terms and I think the misuse--or expanded use--will eventually affect their meaning significantly. "These" refers to something close by, "those" to something farther away. Then what to make of sports announcers who speak of "these Oakland Raiders"? Is there another team called the Oakland Raiders hiding out in Calgary that we don't know about? Or, "this offensive line"? Does the team have another one, hiding in the locker room? Perhaps this is just a pet peeve, but hearing dozens and dozens of announcers using this phraseology over and over has to affect common usage.

So to answer your question, use "these" books.

This page...these books. (this one is close by, right?)

That page...those books. (the one over there)

  • 1
    I think you're being hard on the commentators. This offensive line refers to the offensive line on the field in front of them, as opposed to other lines around the league. These Oakland Raiders could mean to make a contrast with previous years of the franchise, or it could just be a colloquial way of emphasizing that the speaker and listener are both near to the object in question -- in this case, both commentator and viewer are watching the team play. – WinnieNicklaus Feb 21 '14 at 13:59
  • It's used for emphasis, and that's not proper. At least to my way of thinking. – user26732 Feb 21 '14 at 18:20

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