I remember I learned somewhere that when using "this" again, better change to "it"? But why does the book use "this" in the second question? Is the book wrong or what I learned is wrong?

Some children spend hours every day on their smartphones. Why is this the case? Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

(Source: a book publish by Cambridge University Press)

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    It might be more true if "this" were also followed by its referent: "Do you want this sandwich? Why don't you want this sandwich? Is this sandwich not your favorite kind?" In this case, switching to "it" is just about getting the benefit of pronouns. It also works better in this case because "this" refers to something specific and concrete. The "this" in the example is a broader one, referring to the entire preceding sentence. Apr 2 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


You could but it would be entirely optional. You might prefer to repeat "this" to suggest that the two questions each "stand alone", or to help clarify the reference of the pronoun, as "it" could refer to "the case".

In context I don't think there is much to be gained or lost by changing "this" to "it".

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