2

I've heard people saying, "one of these" at a cafeteria at college.
Is it OK to say "I have a lot of these"?

Example

A: Can I take one of your pens?
B: Yes, you can. I have a lot of these.

  • 1
    In practice it's very unlikely B would say I have a lot of these - he'd say I have a lot of them (or even just I have lots or I have several, without the superfluous of them). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 19 '16 at 15:08
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Well, that depends. Like if I had some cheap pens and some more expensive pens, and someone asked to borrow a pen, I might say, "Here, take this (cheap) one -- I have a lot of these." I think it depends whether we're referring to something already identified or referring to something new, or trying to distinguish between one variety and another. – Jay Sep 19 '16 at 15:44
  • @Jay: Yes. The reason these works in your context is because the speaker is specifically introducing new referents (instead of generic "your pens", he's now singling out these specific [cheap] pens). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 19 '16 at 15:48
2

That's a tricky one. The word "these" can be used as several parts of speech, including a pronoun or a definite article. You're asking if it can be used as a pronoun in this case. The answer is that "these" tends to be used as a pronoun when it's the subject (as in "these are ...."), but not when it's the object (as in "one of these").

So you wouldn't say "I have a lot of these"; instead, you'd say "I have a lot of them" or "I have a lot of these pens".

For no particular reason I can think of, "those" is more commonly used as an objective pronoun. So "I'll take one of those" (while pointing to whatever it is you want, so that the reference of "those" is clear) is much more common than "I'll take one of these".

1

It's perfectly grammatical, but it's unlikely in that context, because the question has already identified the objects (the pens), and we don't usually use deictics (these, those) when the items have already been identified.

It's not impossible: if, for example, you have two separate sets of pens, and you indicate one set as opposed to the other, then you might well say "I have alot of these". But without some special context like that, it's unlikely.

In different circumstances, the sentence is perfectly normal. If you're unpacking several different objects from your bag, you might say, as you put one of them down, "I have a lot of these".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy