English is not my mother tongue. So many times I have problems understanding exact meaning of it.

While I was reading Hillbilly Elegy, I found a word quite confusing.

I thought about losing my temper with Mom or Linsay, or Mamaw, and how those were among the few times Papaw ever showed a mean streak, because, as he once told me, "the measure of a man is how he treats the women in his family."

What does those mean? Does it mean Mom, Linsay and Mamaw? Or grandpa losing his temper with them?


The sentence is a bit loosely constructed. "Those" is clearly plural, but it is referring back to a thing that was not indicated as plural or even really as an event: "losing my temper".

It might have been more clearly written as "I thought about the times I lost my temper with Mom or Linsay or Mamaw, and how those were among the few times ...".

  • Thank you for your kind explanation !
    – Heather
    May 5 '19 at 13:50

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