1

When people ask me:

"Whose xx are these"?

Which one should I use to answer them:

  1. "They are...."
  2. "These are..."?

Which one is grammatically correct?

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, Bread, Skooba, Robusto, user067531 May 22 '18 at 19:01

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  • Which one do you think is grammatical? Is there a reason why you think one of them might not be grammatical? – AmE speaker May 18 '18 at 2:13
  • I think"These are.." may be right,because it matches the question,but I'm not sure,I saw some people used"They are" ,so I'm confused .. – Claire May 18 '18 at 2:20
  • I recommend "They are mine" or "They're mine" rather than "These [or "Those] are mine." Both are grammatical, however. – tautophile May 18 '18 at 2:23
  • So they are both right!!Thank you so much!! but if I my answer is "... are my XXX","They are my Xxx" and "These are my XXX" are both right? – Claire May 18 '18 at 2:28
0

I would say there are two common ways of answering the question:

They are mine.
Those are mine.

While you can hold up some items and declare, These are mine!, the response to these would normally not be these in return.

(Conversely, if somebody asks Whose are those?, while pointing at something you are holding, the response likely would be These are mine.)

The use of these typically implies objects that are close to a speaker, while those implies objects that are farther away.

This (plural, these):

a (1) : the person, thing, or idea that is present or near in place, time, or thought or that has just been mentioned · these are my hands

That (plural, those):

a : the person, thing, or idea indicated, mentioned, or understood from the situation · that is my father

However, they can be used in response to either form of question. But I'd argue it's a less common response than using the "complement" of the word used to ask the question . . .


Note: There is a particular circumstance I can think of when these could be used in answer to these:

"Oh, look," she said, spreading her arms as they walked through the storage room door. "Whose are all of these?"
"These," he replied, "are mine."

In this usage, the objects being referenced are separate from both speakers.

(The equivalent usage could apply to two people standing next to each other, where one points off into the distance and those is used in both question and answer.)

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