2

I want to write: "The methods can be divided according to the theories underlying the process and also differ on the statistical methods to evaluate those theories." Would it be correct to use yonder instead of those in this sentence to refer to a word used in the first part of the sentence --> theories? On the other hand I am not even sure if those is correct or if any I had to use these. I am always confused about the their difference.

Thanks for any suggestions!

  • 2
    Wait, why do you want to use "yonder"? And no, it's not used as a linguistic pronoun, it [was, a long time ago] used as a locative adverb, meaning "not these apples, not even those apples, but thoooose apples, way over there". – Dan Bron Aug 22 '14 at 19:27
  • I concur: do not use yonder here. I conjecture aldorado speaks some other language, which is why he wants to use yonder. – GEdgar Aug 22 '14 at 19:32
  • @DanBron I am not a native speaker, yet I did not know about the meaning - it was suggested to my by a translation program and looked like a synonym. Should I delete the question? Should such questions better be asked in the english learner stack exchange? And most important - If yonder is completely wrong - is these or those the correct word? – aldorado Aug 22 '14 at 19:35
  • pretty much no one uses "yonder", except in certain dialects and writing such as novels – ell Aug 22 '14 at 19:36
  • 1
    Sorry, I didn't consider that you might have English as a second language. I thought you were a native speaker trying (for some strange reason) to "jazz up" a report just for the sake of it. To answer your question, I would say "The methods can be divided according to the theories underlying the process, and also by the statistical methods used to evaluate them." (Sorry, I know that doesn't help you understand "these" vs "those".) – Dan Bron Aug 22 '14 at 19:50
5

I think non-native speakers would probably be well advised not to use yonder in any contexts (though as a native speaker myself I'm okay with yonder=afar, over there and yon=those, that).

From oxforddictionaries online:

yonder
ADVERB - ARCHAIC or DIALECT
At some distance in the direction indicated; over there:

DETERMINER - ARCHAIC or DIALECT
That or those (used to refer to something situated at a distance)

yon
DETERMINER & ADVERB - LITERARY or DIALECT
Yonder; that


OP's example sentence is at least clumsy, if not ungrammatical. But so far as the these/those choice is concerned, both are perfectly acceptable in that/this context.

  • You might get away with saying "yonder buildings" but theories are never "over there in the distance". – Oldcat Aug 22 '14 at 20:41
  • @Oldcat: When I say I'm "okay" with these words, that doesn't imply I'd be likely to use them myself (except facetiously). Just that I'm sufficiently familiar with them that it doesn't seem particularly odd to encounter other people using them "naturally". But since it would be virtually impossible for a non-native speaker to use such words naturally, I'd practically always think it was an "error" if they used them. – FumbleFingers Aug 22 '14 at 20:50
  • 1
    +1 Yon and yonder represent a degree of spatial deixis that is no longer distinguished in most dialects of English (including the major standard dialects). If it's farther than here these days, it's there; you need to add words to distinguish more than that. – bye Aug 22 '14 at 21:06
  • @bye: That's true, but the wide blue yonder is a relatively recent addition to "normal" usage. Though I guess I'd have to admit it's always a bit "facetious", 'cos so few of us are likely to use the word yonder naturally any more. – FumbleFingers Aug 22 '14 at 21:12
  • 1
    Yonder is not recommended for technical writing, which is what the text in question is. – Kris Aug 23 '14 at 6:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.