I am unclear of the use of [these|those] objects. I am unsure when to use [these|those|them].

Please someone help me tell me which is correct in the previous sentences.

This is not a dupe of What's the difference between "these" and "those"?

  • Them doesn't belong to the same paradigm as these and those. Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 1:37

2 Answers 2


These, those and them may all be used as objects of a sentence or a preposition.

Said when no books are present:

I lost my books. Did you see them?

Said while pointing toward a flock of geese:

I see some geese. Do you see those?

Said while holding a handful of diamonds.

I found some diamonds. Did you see these?

You can also use two of the three as modifiers for nouns:

Did you those geese?

Did you see these diamonds?

But it is ungrammatical to say

Did you see them books?

  • So, my sentences should read, "I am unclear of the use of those objects [I am point at the objects]. I am unsure when to use these."
    – Phil Helix
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 10:23
  • 1
    @Carnotaurus: One thing to remember between these/those. Usually "these" will be used for things in the near field (e.g., between you and your interlocutor), and "those" for things that are at some distance from you both.
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 10:29
  • What about if object are intangible (like bank accounts) or spatial in some of other, such that distance is unknown, cannot be gauged, or does not apply?
    – Phil Helix
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 10:35
  • Then you would be more likely to use those: "I have some shares in Google. Did you see how those have shot up recently?" But you could also use these: "Liver, kidney, organ meats of any kind — these are the foods I hate most." Sorry to say, but the subtleties of usage here must simply be learned from experience (i.e. reading).
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 10:41
  • 1
    Them books is perfectly fine in some dialects like my own (SAE). I would never recommend it in Standard English, but it is grammatical in some parts of the Anglosphere. Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:30

I think your answers on how to use "these" and "those" are incorrect. I was taught to use a noun after both these and those. EX: these apples....those apples. these and those always need a noun after them, them and they do not. One needs to always answer these_______? Or, those ______? what what

  • It is not clear what you are trying to tell. Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 7:23

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