If I am sharing a (specific, identified) status update, which would be the most appropriate way of informing people that I will be sharing it:

I am sharing it.


I am sharing this.

In both cases I'm going to share the status update at present.

  • 1
    No "this" and "it" refers to the same thing in my question. Dec 21, 2011 at 19:48
  • Can we edit the "status update" so I don't have to read there?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Dec 21, 2011 at 20:18
  • I have removed the status update, and reworded the question accordingly. @AbhinavPandey - check that I haven't lost the essence of your question.
    – Marcin
    Dec 21, 2011 at 21:38
  • I don't know about the question itself but the title deserves an answer. I searched it in Google and reached this page
    – Ahmad
    Sep 19, 2015 at 12:28

2 Answers 2


The word "it" requires an antecedent, that is, something that you have just recently mentioned. The word "this" can be used in the same way as "it", with an antecedent, or it can be used when you are identifying the object by holding it up to view, pointing to it.

That is, if you walked up to someone and, as the first thing out of your mouth, said, "I am sharing it", their natural response would be, "Sharing what?" Even if you were holding the object in your hand and held it up in front of them as you spoke, I think the natural reaction would be, "You mean you're sharing that?" They would be puzzled by the fact that your statement suggests an antecedent that they did not hear in your conversation, and even though they could guess that the object you are holding was the most likely subject of your conversation, they would still feel uncomfortable.

If you identified the object in question first, then "it" makes sense. Example, "I have a new book. I am sharing it." Obviously, then, you are referring to the book.

On the other hand, if you walk up to someone with a book in your hand and say, "I am sharing this", "this" would be understood to refer to the object you were holding. Likewise if you pointed to the book where it is, say, sitting on your desk, and said, "I am sharing this," people would understand you to mean the thing you're pointing at.

You could say, "I have a new book. I am sharing this." But that would generally be considered a somewhat odd usage unless you had just distinguished it from some other things you might share. Like, "I have two new books. One of them is about horses. I am sharing this." Then we would understand you to mean that you are emphasizing that you are sharing the book about horses and not sharing the other book.

If you walked up to someone with no object in your hand, not pointing to anything, and without any introduction, said either "I am sharing it" or "I am sharing this", you would leave the listener wondering what it is that you are sharing.

  • 5
    Some people might take "I have a new book. I am sharing this" to mean that the speaker is sharing the fact that he has a new book.
    – yoozer8
    Dec 21, 2011 at 20:18
  • @Jim: True. It occurs to me that if someone said, "I am dying of hepatitis. I am sharing this," I would hope he is sharing the information and not the hepatitis, but just from the grammar it would be difficult to say.
    – Jay
    Dec 21, 2011 at 21:17
  • I think they would be more likely to say "I have two new books. One of them is about horses. I am sharing this one" than "... I am sharing this."
    – Alan
    Jun 30, 2015 at 1:01
  • @alan Sure. Or, "I am sharing this" is not the most likely thing for a person to say to convey this message. I was just trying to give an example where it would make sense.
    – Jay
    Jun 30, 2015 at 19:33

The latter emphasizes the identity of whatever you're sharing. In other words, it's not just an it; it's this precise it.

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