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Use "these" Properly!

Updated: Aug 19

The word "these" can be used in more than one way: as a pronoun or an adjective.


Since pronouns replace nouns, “these” should replace a noun when used as a pronoun. Yet, it should describe a noun when used as an adjective. To determine if "these" is functioning as a pronoun, ask yourself, “What noun does it replace?”


Let's try it in the sentence below:


  • THESE are important findings for determining the direction of future research.


In this sentence, “these” does not replace a noun. You may think it replaces the noun findings, but test that thought by replacing the pronoun with the suspected noun to see ("Findings are important findings..." does not make sense).


Instead, "these" describes the type of findings. Since the word functions as an adjective, the sentence needs to be rearranged to place the noun right after the adjective that describes it. So, the new sentence is:


  • THESE FINDINGS are important for determining the direction of future research.


Cultivating writers...one tip at a time!



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