Monday, January 3, 2011

60-Second Syntax: These vs. Those

60-Second Syntax is a quick look at some common mistakes in writing.
Please note: Different editors may follow different styles and rules.
These vs. Those
Generally speaking, the difference between these and those deals with distance. "These" are things nearby, and "those" are things further off. If what you are referring to happened earlier in the sentence or even the previous paragraph, use "those." If you are using a word in reference to something you are about to mention, use "these."
Example:
Do not feed them after midnight, do not expose them to light, and do not get them wet. It is very important that you follow those rules.
These are the rules you need to follow: Do not expose them to light, and do not get them wet. It is very important that you follow those rules.
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Examples loosely based on the rules for "Gremlins."