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?


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

  • 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

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.


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

  • 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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