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I know which one to use when describing objects.

These pencils are cool.

Those trees [300 meters away] are blocking my view.

But what happens if the noun you're describing is not tangible?

Ex.

I experienced many great adventures last year. These/those adventures were captured on film.

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    The noun can be abstractions or intangibles. No problem. These arguments, these considerations, these ephemera, these intangibles.
    – TimR
    Sep 29, 2017 at 15:09
  • Reminder: these and those can refer to something that came earlier in a conversation.
    – Lambie
    Jul 9, 2021 at 20:09

2 Answers 2

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This and these are used when you are describing something close to you. Even if you are talking about spatial, emotional distance or time's as well.

Contrary, that and those are used when something is far away from you. If you feel something distant then you should describe it with that, those when it's plural.

In the example you gave, I would choose to use "Those" because the adventures happened a year ago. The focus is on the past time that now is no closer to you.

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Notice that the time will also influence the usage of “these” and “those” as a demonstrative pronoun.

These - now/recently.

Those - past/a period some time ago.

For e.g.

I have been working hard these days

Those days were the best days in my life.

Coming to your sentence, correct usage would be:

I experienced many great adventures last year. Those adventures were captured on film.

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    There is a near/far distinction between "these" and "those", but there's nothing wrong with using "these adventures" to mean "the adventures just mentioned". "These adventures" might be adventures in distant time, but they are also adventures of recent interest. Correct usage includes both "these" and "those". Sep 29, 2017 at 14:50

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