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The difference between This and That, as I understand it, is that This refers to something that is here, and That refers to something that is There.

However, when I want to talk about something that is neither here nor there, something that has more of an abstract nature, which should I use?

For example, in this (rather technical) sentence:

...any matching result in the DataGridView cells, is highlighted. To achieve this/that I use the CellPainting event...

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There is no hard and fast rule. When dealing with abstract terms, usage of this/that is contextual to how the abstract term is perceived.

...any matching result in the DataGridView cells, is highlighted. To achieve this/that I use the CellPainting event...

In this case, I would use "this" because it almost directly follow the thing it's referencing (the act of highlighting). However, "that" would be equally grammatically correct; although I think most people would intuitively use "this" here.

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