I was reading this question - "Is this sentence grammatically correct? (compare the social life in x neighborhoods with those in y neighborhoods)" and thought about a few different structures to this one.

Well, the OP there asks whether is it okay to use "those" to substitute the objects.

I would like to ask whether we can also use "ones" instead of "those" to substitute objects:

  • I want to compare the batch of apples from Abkhazia to ones from Kazakhstan.
  • I want to compare the batch of apples from Abkhazia to those from Kazakhstan.

Does using "ones" instead of "those" make anything change? When is it more suitable to use "ones" and when "those"?

I would also like to know if we can (and whether it is correct to) use both words "those ones":

  • I want to compare the batch of apples from Abkhazia to those ones from Kazakhstan.

Should there also be a definite article before "ones"?

2 Answers 2


There is a difference between those and ones. Those points to a specific group, whereas ones does not point at anything. With ones individuals could be selected at random or arbitrarily from the group. ones is indefinite.

With those the group pointed at could be a previously mentioned specific subgroup or if there is no such mention, the group in its entirety.

I like white wines. Those from Germany are my favorites.

That is, I like any and all German white wines.

I like white wines. Ones from Germany are my favorites.

Unspecified white wines from Germany are my favorite wines. Although one might infer that the statement above means that I like all German wines, that is not what it says. There is no determiner. Had it said "The ones from Germany" the reference would be to all types of German white wine. Without a determiner, it could be all or it could be one type or it could be wines from a particular vineyard or region. The rejoinder to the statement above could be "Which ones?"

I like good white wines, especially German Spaetlese. Those are my favorites.

Of the wines I like, a subgroup of German whites, the Spaetlese, are the wines I like the best.


If those is to refer to “social life” then why plural pronoun? I would go for “that”. Therefore, we can have; “ compare social life in X neighborhoods with the one in Y neighborhoods”. Yes, use article, because the noun has been already introduced and both the speaker and listeners about what they are talking about. Please wait for more answers to make sure that mine is correct.

  • Reread the question my friend! Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 10:11

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