Learn English – Should I Use “these” or “those” When I Refer to Something in the First Sentence

demonstrativesgrammarpronouns

I’ve posted 5 photos on my timeline. Have you seen these/those
photos? You’ll love these/those photos! These/Those photos were taken in France.

Should I use “these” or “those” when I refer to something in the first sentence?

Are there any simple rules that I should follow?

NOTES:

I know that I should use “this(singular)” and “these(plural)” for things that are near me.

I know that I should use “that(singular)” and “those(plural)” for things that are far from me.

In my example there is no “distance”.

What should I do? Changing the sentence is not an option.

Best Answer

Neither sounds good, but "those" is more natural.

You are asking about which demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) most appropriately mean "the aforementioned." It's hard to specify a rule that answers the question generally. But I would say you only use "these" when you want to emphasize that you mean specifically the aforementioned photos, and NOT some other ones. In other cases, default to those.

I know you said that changing the text was not an option, but it sounds terrible as it is. Just for the record, I would rewrite it as:

I’ve posted 5 photos on my timeline. Have you seen them? You’ll love them! They were taken in France.

When it's phrased like this, the these/those confusion is irrelevant. Also, reusing the word "photos" multiple times, as is done in the original, makes the text feel stilted and robotic.

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