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?

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 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'. Dec 18, 2020 at 7:00
  • You could try etymonline.com for details about their origins.
    – Peter
    Dec 18, 2020 at 7:15
  • The is the definite article. This and that indicate particular objects, near and far from the speaker. Dec 18, 2020 at 9:12
  • They are not interchangeable.
    – Ram Pillai
    Dec 18, 2020 at 11:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.