Hey there,
  • I always have this problem of choosing between it's, this is, that's... Let's say that somone will answer my question. What do I say then?
1) it is a very good explanation
2) this is a very good explanation
3) that is a very good explanation

Is there any difference between those three?
  • And here comes my second question: this VS those
I'm not sure which one I should have used in the above sentence...
in my opinion you don't have to worry about it.... if English is not your native language native speakers will understand what you wish to say..for example '' lets go to the cinema''

I can say '' That's a great idea we can go tonight..

I can also say '' this is a great idea we can go tonight''

or I can say ''it's a great idea we can go tonight

but that's a great idea sound more correct to me...
thanks for your reply

the thing is that I want to teach English so it's my job to know as much as possible Emotion: wink

there has to be a difference between those 3 ways of saying the same thing... if there wasn't, then why make 3 different words to say one thing?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Oh sorry about that I though you are the student who wants to speak english like me... so I can't say certain thing.... lets wait for a teacher
See It vs that.



We all understand why you wish to understand this well, for there is

no doubt that some of your better students are going to ask you

probing questions.

I am so happy that I read your post because I was able to find that

link and read CalifJim's awesome explanation. I plan to use his

"rule," and I'm sure that many other people would find his "rule"

hepful. It is so clear and exact. Just what I was looking for.

I recently did some research on this topic, and I should like to

pass it on to you because probably some clever student one day

will bring in some writing that does not follow CalifJim's "rule," and

you could be placed in an embarrassing situation.

This is what I have learned:

(a) Two very experienced English teachers (who are very active

in teaching English to speakers of other languages) told me that

there is no "hard and fast" rule. In other words, either "this" or

"that" could be considered "correct" -- depending on your feeling

of how near something is ("this") and how distant something is ("that").

(b) I read a complaint from an English teacher who said that many

people do not understand the difference. He explained:

The other day I told a friend that "Mr. X is doing a bad

job." She replied, "This is what I have been telling you"

instead of "THAT is what I have been telling you."

CalifJim's rule: You use "that" at the beginning of your

comment about a situation presented by your conversation


(c) Finally, I have good news. According to A Comprehensive Grammar

of the English Language (written by Professor Randolph Quirk and

his colleagues), which some people consider the most authoritative

grammar available, sometimes there is no one "correct" answer.

Here are two examples:

An argument over [such and such a matter] broke out between them.

The/This/That argument finally put an end to their friendship.

An argument over [such and such] broke out between them, and

this/that finally put an end to their friendship.

Best of luck to you.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
AnonymousThe other day I told a friend that "Mr. X is doing a bad
job." She replied, "This is what I have been telling you"
instead of "THAT is what I have been telling you."
Good summary. A brief comment or two.

that is the normal word when making a judgment on what was said. It's an emotional reaction to the contents of the news.

-- Mr. X is doing a bad job.
-- That's a shame. I had hoped he would do well.

It would be unusual to hear This is a shame in the exchange above, but see below.


what I have been telling you is not a judgment. Note that some speakers do choose this instead of that in such cases. For some speakers the use of this indicates a feeling that the matter is of immediate importance -- worthy of immediate consideration. (this is 'closer' than that.) For others it is simply an idiosyncrasy in their personal style of communication. The latter group tend to use this for that in many cases where the norm is that.

A million thanks, CJ, for the additional explanation. So if anyone

ever questions my choice, I can always defend it -- regardless of which

word I choose. I know that you are tired of hearing it, but you are

truly awesome!!!
Yes. You can defend it by saying that your style is idiosyncratic, I suppose, if you really want to.

Emotion: wink

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies