Is there any difference between "this" and "it" in this context when pointing at something? For example, I am pointing at something near me, or I am holding it in my hand and say "How much is this?" or "How much is it?" I often see "it" instead of "this" in children's books and videos. Do they mean the same thing in such context only? https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=tNK0ToOgntw#
"This" is a demonstrative pronoun and "it" is a personal pronoun.
When pointing at something you would use a demonstrative pronount. E.g. This is my car.
A personal pronoun replaces either a subject or an object. Before you can replace something you would need to mention it first. E.g. I want to buy this shirt. How much is it?
Also have a look at this post: it VS. this Vs. that
If you're talking specifically about the context of pointing to something, it's more natural to use a demonstrative pronoun (this, that) when you first refer to it.
Excuse me, how much is this? (pointing to something close)
What is that over there? (pointing)
You can follow up by using 'it' to refer to the thing, having established it as the topic.
How much is this? Is it a genuine leather wallet? Or is it plastic?
How much is that? The necklace over there. Could you show it to me? It's very unusual!