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I'm in a restaurant. I see something I'd like in the menu, but I don't know what it's called. I point to it and say:

Can I have one of these, please?

or I should say:

Can I have one of those, please?

Update:

Can we use "those" with items that are close to speaker?

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  • Did you check the definitions of these and those? Also you don't say where it is. – user3169 Feb 18 '17 at 0:49
  • I discuss this very topic under a related question here. – J.R. Feb 18 '17 at 11:08
  • Possible duplicate of Difference between "this" and "that" – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 18 '17 at 11:39
  • @user3169, yes, and I update the question to be more specific. – Shannak Feb 19 '17 at 18:57
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If the items are in some way near you (actually near you, or you are pointing to a picture or a menu that you are holding), you can use these.

But you can always use those, whether they are near you or not.

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Weirdly enough, that depends on how close said item is to you. Say you have a plate right in front of you, you would say

"One of these please"

If the item in question is a few feet or more away from you, you would instead say,

"One of those please"

Use "these" for items that are very close, and "those" for items further away

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  • I would say so too. But you can also think about 'these' referring to some certain things. While 'those' is or can be used to generalise something. But I would say the range indicator is more reliable. – Tom-Oliver Heidel Feb 18 '17 at 13:19

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