Them VS Those

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Hi. I work with customers, and they'll often point to objects on or behind the counter and say, "Can I have two of them?"

I think they really should be saying, "Can I have two of those/these?"

I guess I'm thinking of the sentence being, "Can I have two of those items?", in which case saying, "Can I have two of them items?" is completely wrong.

Is there a difference if the word "items" isn't present? Is saying "them" still incorrect?

Thanks. 

asked Nov 14 '12 at 04:51 Dave New member

2 answers


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It is correct to say "Can I have two of them?"

It is also correct to say: "Can I have two of those items?" and "Can I have two of these/those?"

 

Actually pronoun 'they' is also plural of 'it'.

 

While 'This/That/These/Those' are demonstrative pronouns.

link comment answered Nov 14 '12 at 05:24 Rahul Gupta Expert
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Either them or those can be correct.  Them is the objective form of they. They is the plural form of he, she, or itThose is the plural form of thatThis and these are pronouns that point to something close by, something that is hereThat and those are pronouns that point to something further away, something that is over there

 

The customers could point to the items on the shelf and say, “They are what that I want.”  They is the subject.  Making it the object would be, “I want them.”  If you had a bushel of apples, a customer might want two of them

 

Since this, that, these, and those figuratively point at something in a place, it sounds better to use them when a person is literally pointing as well. 

 

When you add the word items, those and these become adjectives.  Them can never be used as an adjective.  “Them items” is incorrect. 

link comment answered Nov 14 '12 at 07:06 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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