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13 Essential Literary Terms

these

[th eez] /ðiz/
pronoun, adjective
1.
plural of this.

this

[th is] /ðɪs/
pronoun, plural these
[th eez] /ðiz/ (Show IPA)
1.
(used to indicate a person, thing, idea, state, event, time, remark, etc., as present, near, just mentioned or pointed out, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis):
This is my coat.
2.
(used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., referring to the one nearer in place, time, or thought; opposed to that):
This is Liza and that is Amy.
3.
(used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., implying a contrast or contradistinction; opposed to that):
I'd take that instead of this.
4.
what is about to follow:
Now hear this! Watch this!
adjective, plural these
[th eez] /ðiz/ (Show IPA)
5.
(used to indicate a person, place, thing, or degree as present, near, just indicated or mentioned, or as well-known or characteristic):
These people are my friends. This problem has worried me for a long time.
6.
(used to indicate the nearer in time, place, or thought of two persons, things, etc.; opposed to that).
7.
(used to imply mere contradistinction; opposed to that).
8.
(used in place of an indefinite article for emphasis):
I was walking down the street when I heard this explosion.
adverb
9.
(used with adjectives and adverbs of quantity or extent) to the extent or degree indicated:
this far; this softly.
Idioms
10.
with this, following this; hereupon:
With this, he threw down his glass and left the table.
Origin
900
before 900; (pronoun and adj.) Middle English; Old English: nominative and accusative neuter singular of the demonstrative pronoun thes (masculine), thēos (feminine); cognate with German dies, Old Norse thissi; (adv.) Middle English, special use of the OE instrumental singular thȳs, thīs, accusative singular neuter this, perhaps by association with thus
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for these
  • For the mayor, the test will now be how to make certain these important protests can go forward.
  • these are the greenhouse-gas emissions from two universities.
  • Still, there is a risk that these careful leaders will eventually lose control of the street.
  • these tasty gifts can be eaten once the spirits have had their fill.
  • However, eradicating mosquitoes to solve these diseases is akin to having a surgeon use a sledge hammer to remove a brain tumor.
  • these are cool earphones that are still moderately priced for such excellent performance and customized comfort.
  • Professors who use these puppets argue they have a serious purpose.
  • Yes, these viral pictures of goats clinging to an impossibly steep rock face are real.
  • Sometimes these interviewees aren't well known, and sometimes they're famous.
  • these structures create privacy with artful elegance.
British Dictionary definitions for these

these

/ðiːz/
determiner
1.
  1. the form of this used before a plural noun: these men
  2. (as pronoun): I don't much care for these

this

/ðɪs/
determiner (used before a sing noun)
1.
  1. used preceding a noun referring to something or someone that is closer: distinct from that: this dress is cheaper than that one, look at this picture
  2. (as pronoun): this is Mary and that is her boyfriend, take this
2.
  1. used preceding a noun that has just been mentioned or is understood: this plan of yours won't work
  2. (as pronoun): I first saw this on Sunday
3.
  1. used to refer to something about to be said, read, etc: consider this argument
  2. (as pronoun): listen to this
4.
  1. the present or immediate: this time you'll know better
  2. (as pronoun): before this, I was mistaken
5.
(informal) often used in storytelling, an emphatic form of a1 , the1 I saw this big brown bear
6.
this and that, various unspecified and trivial actions, matters, objects, etc
7.
(US, not standard) this here, an emphatic form of this (sense 1), this (sense 2), this (sense 3)
8.
with this, at this, after this; thereupon
adverb
9.
used with adjectives and adverbs to specify a precise degree that is about to be mentioned: go just this fast and you'll be safe
Word Origin
Old English thēs, thēos, this (masculine, feminine, neuter singular); related to Old Saxon thit, Old High German diz, Old Norse thessi
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for these

Old English þæs, variant of þas, nominative and accusative plural of þes, þeos, þis "this" (see this).

this

Old English þis, neuter demonstrative pronoun and adjective (masc. þes, fem. þeos), probably from a North Sea Germanic pronoun formed by combining the base *þa- (see that) with -s, which is probably identical with Old English se "the" (representing here "a specific thing"), but it may be Old English seo, imperative of see (v.) "to behold." Cf. Old Saxon these, Old Norse þessi, Dutch deze, Old Frisian this, Old High German deser, German dieser.

Once fully inflected, with 10 distinct forms (see table below); the oblique cases and other genders gradually fell away by 15c. The Old English plural was þæs (nominative and accusative), which in Northern Middle English became thas, and in Midlands and Southern England became thos. The Southern form began to be used late 13c. as the plural of that (replacing Middle English tho, from Old English þa) and acquired an -e (apparently from the influence of Middle English adjective plurals in -e; cf. alle from all, summe from sum "some"), emerging early 14c. as modern those.

About 1175 thes (probably a variant of Old English þæs) began to be used as the plural of this, and by 1200 it had taken the form these, the final -e acquired via the same mechanism that gave one to those.

Masc. Fem. Neut. Plural
Nom. þes þeos þis þas
Acc. þisne þas þis þas
Gen. þisses þisse þisses þissa
Dat. þissum þisse þissum þissum
Inst. þys þisse þys þissum

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for these

this

noun

My penis •Accompanied by a gesture toward the indicated part: Hey Vanessa, how about the bailiffs seize this?/ ''Mom said to go walk the dogs'' ''Walk this, John! You walk the dogs!'' (1940s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with these

these

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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