Practical English : Difference Between They & These

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There are of course differences between the pronouns ‘they and these’. The differences can be little but carry significance. Therefore one should know them in order to be correct when it comes to uses of grammar.

Before knowing the differences between the two pronouns, at first one needs to get knowledge of what they and these are in terms of definition. They is a simple pronoun used instead of nouns and is used to refer to person or things not present in person or cannot be touched in real-time situation. They can be both singular and plural.

On the other hand, these is a demonstrative pronoun like this, that, those etc. which is used to point to people or things present in person in a real-time situation. Unlike they, these is always plural.

To understand the differences between they and these, please look at the sentences below :

  1. These are boys. (touchable in real-time situation).
  2. These are pens which can be used to do the design that you intends to.
  3. They are my relatives who recently from the USA.
  4. They are my parents who left the world two years back.

Main Differences Between These and They :

  1. These is a demonstrative pronoun, whereas They is a pronoun.
  2. These is used to refer to people who are present in person, for example: “These are my parents” while ‘they’ is used to point to something which is not present in person, for example: “They are my parents.”
  3. ‘These’ does not have tenses, whereas They is future progressive.
  4. These is always in plural form, whereas ‘They’ can be used in a singular form.
  5. These is used when the object can be touched physically, whereas ‘they can be used for anything, anywhere.

What Demonstrative Pronoun Is :


A demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that is used to point to something specific within a sentence. These pronouns can indicate items in space or time, and they can be either singular or plural.

When used to represent a thing or things, demonstrative pronouns can be either near or far in distance or time. There are differences between this & that and these and those. To indicate something near in time or space, this and these are used whereas that and those are used to show something far or away in distance or time.

Near in time or distance : this, these.
Far in time or distance : that, those.

List of Demonstrative Pronouns : Some commonly used demonstrative pronouns are Such, This, That, These, Those, None and Neither.

Some Sentences with Demonstrative Pronouns :

  1. This is the ring that I was gifted on the day of marriage.
  2. That is the toy my son likes the most.
  3. These are nice shoes, but they look uncomfortable.
  4. Those are the boys who escaped school yesterday.
  5. Such was her command over the English language.
  6. None of the comments the mayor made yesterday are correct.
  7. Neither of the motor-cycles parked in the garden can be taken for a drive.

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