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I have some doubts about the meaning of 'the' and 'that' in the following two constructions:

  1. The house over there is mine.
  2. That house over there is mine.

Is there any difference in meaning between 'the' and 'that' here? Or are they interchangeable?

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If there is only one house over there, then they are equivalent. If there are several, "that house" would go with an indication of which house, eg by pointing. "The house" assumes there is only one possibility.

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  • Your explanation is admirably simple and clear.Yet l expect there is a more in-depth explanation regarding the common origin of 'that' and 'the'. – Mido Mido Dec 18 '20 at 7:00
  • You could try etymonline.com for details about their origins. – Peter Dec 18 '20 at 7:15
  • The is the definite article. This and that indicate particular objects, near and far from the speaker. – Kate Bunting Dec 18 '20 at 9:12
  • They are not interchangeable. – Ram Pillai Dec 18 '20 at 11:59

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