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Usage of this(these) and that(those)

English translation: It depends on the sense and the context

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Usage of this(these) and that(those)
English translation:It depends on the sense and the context
Entered by: Mark Xiang
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05:39 Aug 11, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Linguistics
English term or phrase: Usage of this(these) and that(those)
Usually when we refer something(s) described in previous text, we use that(those). By referring to something(s) described in the text followed , we use this(these).

Following is an example. Some people think that "these" in the text refers to "content based attacks". What's your opinion?

Most people are aware of content based attacks being spread through e-mails as contaminated attachments. Most often there are ¡°human engineering¡± elements to these, as the virus sends e-mails to everybody in the victims¡¯ address book¡ªthe result being that the recipient trusts the sender, and by doing so receives and spreads the infection.
Mark Xiang
Local time: 23:47
It depends on the sense and the context
Explanation:
An interesting example of 'these' used once to refer to following items and once to refer to prior items, in the same paragraph, can be found in the Declaration of Independence of the US:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable [inalienable] Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."
Selected response from:

Refugio
Local time: 08:47
Grading comment
Thanks. Your answer, especially your added note, answered my question.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +8"these" refers to content-based attacks"
Kevin Kelly
4 +3content-based attacksRowan Morrell
4 +2Most often, these include elements of human engineeringRHELLER
5these attacks/the said attacks
Paul Dixon
5It depends on the sense and the contextRefugio


Discussion entries: 6





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
usage of this(these) and that(those)
content-based attacks


Explanation:
I would certainly read "these" as referring to "content-based attacks" here. You could also say "these attacks" here. At this point, I can't quite pin down why you say "these", but it's definitely not "those" in this instance.

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Note added at 1 hr 33 mins (2004-08-11 07:12:32 GMT)
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In answer to your note, it\'s definitely referring back to \"content-based attacks\" and not forwards to the propagation etc. It wouldn\'t make sense otherwise.

Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 03:47
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxcmwilliams
3 hrs
  -> Thanks cmwilliams.

agree  Java Cafe
4 hrs
  -> Thanks Java Cafe.

agree  Refugio
10 hrs
  -> Thanks Ruth.
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
usage of this(these) and that(those)
"these" refers to content-based attacks"


Explanation:
Human engineering elements are involved in the attacks.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs 40 mins (2004-08-11 11:19:25 GMT)
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\"these\" or \"those\" always refer to antecedents in the plural.

Kevin Kelly
Local time: 11:47
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Margarita
7 mins

agree  eccotraduttrice: absolutely
22 mins

agree  Kurt Porter: Yep
55 mins

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
3 hrs

agree  xxxcmwilliams
3 hrs

agree  Java Cafe
4 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
11 hrs

agree  Eva Olsson
2 days13 hrs
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
usage of this(these) and that(those)
Most often, these include elements of human engineering


Explanation:
I would rewrite it; the usage is not very common. Hope this reference helps.

3. Demonstrative pronouns

The words this, that, these and those are used to indicate specific persons or things. In the following examples, the words this, that, these and those are used independently, and can be referred to as demonstrative pronouns.
e.g. This is an apple pie.
That is a good idea.
These are my friends.
Those are maple trees.

The words this, that, these and those can also be used immediately preceding a noun, in which case they can be referred to as demonstrative adjectives.
e.g. This pie is made with apples.
That idea seems practical.
These people are my friends.
Those trees are maples.
In the preceding examples, this, that, these and those act as adjectives, modifying the nouns pie, idea, people and trees, respectively.

This and these are used to indicate persons or things that are close to the speaker or writer. This takes a singular verb, and is used when referring to a single person or thing.
e.g. This is my brother.
This book belongs to him.

These takes a plural verb, and is used when referring to more than one person or thing.
e.g. These are my brothers.
These books belong to him.

See Exercise 2.

That and those are used to indicate persons or things that are at a distance from the speaker or writer. That takes a singular verb, and is used when referring to a single person or thing.
e.g. That is a computer.
That woman is a professor.

Those takes a plural verb, and is used when referring to more than one person or thing.
e.g. Those are computers.
Those women are professors.

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Note added at 7 hrs 15 mins (2004-08-11 12:55:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yes, it is acceptable. It is not incorrect. I turned it around for the purpose of clarity. \"These\" can be used as a subject but most examples put it at the beginning of the phrase, making it less ambiguous. It is ambiguous here because of the phrase \"to these\" which would not normally be used to clarify a sentence which refers to more than one thing.
hope that helps


    Reference: http://www.fortunecity.com/bally/durrus/153/gramch19.html
RHELLER
United States
Local time: 09:47
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 59

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ramesh Madhavan
18 mins
  -> thanks Ramesh

agree  Java Cafe
4 hrs
  -> thanks Java :-)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
usage of this(these) and that(those)
It depends on the sense and the context


Explanation:
An interesting example of 'these' used once to refer to following items and once to refer to prior items, in the same paragraph, can be found in the Declaration of Independence of the US:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable [inalienable] Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."

Refugio
Local time: 08:47
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 35
Grading comment
Thanks. Your answer, especially your added note, answered my question.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
usage of this(these) and that(those)
these attacks/the said attacks


Explanation:
I feel the word "attacks" is needed here to avoid ambiguity, the text as written suggests that "these" refers to the attachments.

Paul Dixon
Brazil
Local time: 12:47
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 5
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