This: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
October 5, 2023

1. This (pronoun): Indicates a specific person, thing, idea, or event that is present or near.
2. This (pronoun): Refers to one of two or more subjects, denoting the one closer in place, time, or thought, as opposed to "that."
3. This (pronoun): Highlights one among two or more subjects, implying a contrast or preference over "that."
4. This (pronoun): Draws attention to what is about to follow or occur next.
5. This (adjective): Indicates a person, place, thing, or degree as present, near, or characteristic.
6. This (adjective): Denotes the nearer one in time, place, or thought among two subjects, as opposed to "that."
7. This (adjective): Implies a mere contradistinction or alternative, as opposed to "that."
8. This (adjective): Used in place of an indefinite article for emphasis.
9. This (adverb): Used with adjectives and adverbs of quantity or extent to express the extent indicated.
10. With this (idiom): Denotes a subsequent action or reaction based on the previous statement or action.

The word "this" is a common but important word in English. It helps us point to specific things or ideas, making our meaning clear to others. We will explore the different ways "this" is used in sentences and explain its role in everyday communication. Through simple examples, we'll show how "this" works and why it's a word we use so often.

"This" Definition: What Does "This" Mean?

The word "this" serves as a pronoun, adjective, or adverb, depending on its usage in a sentence. As a pronoun, it identifies specific subjects, distinguishing them from others. As an adjective, it describes the subject as being closer in terms of distance, time, or thought. When used as an adverb, it emphasizes the extent or degree of a certain action.

  • This (as a pronoun): Helping in pinpointing a particular subject among others.
  • This (as an adjective): Describing the proximity or characteristic of a subject.
  • This (as an adverb): Stressing the extent or degree of an action.

Parts of Speech

The word "this" can function as a pronoun, adjective, or adverb, each with its distinct role in a sentence. As a pronoun, it points out specific subjects; as an adjective, it describes the proximity or characteristic of a subject; and as an adverb, it emphasizes the extent or degree of an action.

How to Pronounce "This"?

It is pronounced with one syllable. The "th" produces a voiced dental fricative sound, similar to "the," and is followed by a short "i" sound and an "s.

Phonetic Pronunciation: ðɪs

Synonyms of "This": Other Ways to Say "This"

The term "this" doesn't have exact synonyms but can sometimes be replaced depending on context:

Antonyms of "This": Other Ways to Say "This"

The antonym of "this" is often "that," especially when distinguishing between two subjects.

  • That

Examples of "This" in a Sentence

The use of "this" in a sentence generally revolves around distinguishing, pointing out, or emphasizing subjects.

Here are ten sentences that demonstrate its various contexts:

1. This failure is a nail in the coffin for our project.
2. Do you prefer this or that?
3. Back in the day, this neighborhood was lively.
4. This, in essence, is the core of the argument.
5. Your skills are a perfect match for this job.
6. This morning was colder than yesterday.
7. With this, she decided to leave.
8. I am done with you; this behavior is unacceptable.
9. This victory is a glimmer of hope amidst challenges.
10. This way, we can ensure success.

Frequency of Use

The word "this" is one of the most frequently used words in English due to its fundamental role in pointing out, distinguishing, or emphasizing subjects. Its usage spans a variety of contexts, making it a versatile and essential word in both spoken and written English. In many word frequency lists, "this" often ranks within the top 10 or 20 most commonly used words.

Variants of "This"

Unlike some words, "this" doesn't have many variants. However, its usage can be altered slightly depending on the context or the word it's paired with. For example, "this" can be paired with a noun to specify a particular object or person, or it can be used with an adjective to emphasize the extent or degree of a particular quality.

1. This (as a demonstrative): Points to a specific person or thing.
2. This (with adjectives): Emphasizes the extent or degree of a quality.

Related Terms to "This"

Some terms are often used in conjunction with "this" or similar contexts. These terms can help in understanding the different nuances of "this."

1. That
2. These
3. Those
4. It
5. The

Etymology: History and Origins of "This"

The word "this" has its roots in Old English, where it was used as a demonstrative pronoun and adjective. Its Old English forms include "þes" (masculine), "þeos" (feminine), and "þis" (neuter). The term has remained relatively consistent in its form and function through the centuries, reflecting its fundamental role in the language.

Derivatives and Compounds of "This"

"This" doesn't give rise to many derivatives or compounds, but it's often a part of phrases or idiomatic expressions. It helps to point out or emphasize a particular element.

1. This time: Refers to the current occasion or moment.
2. This way: Indicates a particular direction or method.

Common Misspellings of "This"

As a simple and common word, "this" isn't usually misspelled. However, in fast typing or writing, some people might miss out on a letter, leading to incorrect forms.

1. Thsi
2. Tis
3. Ths

10 Idioms Similar to "This"

While "this" isn't commonly found in idioms, it's part of phrases or expressions used to emphasize or point out something.

1. This and that
2. This is it
3. At this point
4. For this reason
5. In this way
6. This goes to show
7. This side of (a particular time or event)
8. This much is clear
9. This begs the question
10. This time around

10 Common Questions About "This"

The ubiquitous use of "this" often doesn't lead to many questions, but here are some related to its use and function.

1. How is "this" used in a sentence?

"This" is used to point to a specific person, thing, or idea that is near or just mentioned.

2. What is the difference between "this" and "that"?

"This" refers to something nearer or more immediately present, while "that" refers to something farther away or less immediately present.

3. Can "this" be used as an adverb?

Yes, "this" can be used as an adverb to emphasize the extent or degree of a certain action.

4. How is "this" pronounced?

"This" is pronounced with a voiced "th" sound, similar to "the," followed by a short "i" sound and "s."

5. What part of speech is "this"?

"This" can function as a pronoun, adjective, or adverb, depending on the context.

6. How is "this" used with adjectives?

When used with adjectives, "this" emphasizes the extent or degree of a quality.

7. What are some synonyms of "this"?

Exact synonyms are rare, but phrases like "the present" or "the following" can sometimes replace "this."

8. Can "this" introduce what is to follow?

Yes, "this" can be used to introduce and draw attention to what is about to follow.

9. How has the use of "this" evolved over time?

The use of "this" has remained relatively consistent through the centuries due to its fundamental grammatical role.

10. What is the plural form of "this"?

The plural form of "this" is "these."


"This" is a fundamental term to point out or emphasize specific individuals, things, or ideas. It plays a crucial role in distinguishing subjects or drawing attention to certain elements in a discourse. Understanding the usage and functions of "this" can significantly enhance clarity and precision in communication. Explore our definitions to delve deeper into the intricacies of "this" and other terms to enrich your language comprehension.

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