How To Say THIS In Russian: 4 Correct Forms Of ЭТОТ (Nominative)

Choosing how to say THIS in Russian, remember that the demonstrative pronouns “этот” and “тот” are utilized to indicate a specific person or object. Just like the word ONE and possessive pronouns, they function as modifiers and must agree in gender, number, and case with the noun they modify.

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Personal And Demonstrative Pronouns In Russian

Ex. 1. Personal Pronouns Revision: choose ОН, ОНА or ОНО?


Out of the two demostrative pronouns in Russian, “этот” is more inclusive in its meaning. For instance, the singular forms of “этот” can be translated as either “this” or “that” in English, while the plural forms can be translated as either “these” or “those”. A lot depends on the context though.


Ex. 2. How to say THIS in Russian correctly: ЭТОТ, ЭТА, ЭТО or ЭТИ?

Ex. 3. Choose the correct demonstrative pronoun: ТОТ, ТА, ТО or ТЕ?

The forms of “тот” are typically translated as “that” (and plural “those”) and are commonly used to contrast with forms of “этот”.

Этот дом новый, а тот нет. – This house is new, but that one is not.
Эта книга тут, а та здесь. – This book is here, but that one is over there.

То место уже занято, но вы можете сесть здесь. – That seat has already been taken, but you can sit here.
Эти джинсы дорогие, а те дешёвые. – These jeans are expensive but those ones are cheap.

When used in contrast, “этот” may refer to something closer to the speaker, while “тот” refers to something more distant from the speaker.

The pronoun “тот” can also be used when no explicit contrast is made with “этот”, although an implied contrast is still present. In the following examples, “тот” conveys the sense of something more remote, in contrast to an implied closer entity.

Вам нужна та машина. – You need that car.
Видите тот дом? – Can you see that house?
Те люди не с нами. – Those people aren’t with us.

THAT In Russian: The Other Uses

There are several other important uses of ТОТ, all of which imply some kind of contrast. Here are some common expressions with this important pronoun:

1. “не тот” – the wrong (one)

Negated forms of “тот” (не тот, не то, не та, не те) can express the idea of “the wrong one” in contrast to an implied “right one”.

Это не тот учебник. Мне нужен другой. – This is a wrong textbook. I need another one.
Это не та квартира. Адрес неправильный. – This is a wrong apartment. The address is wrong.

2. “тот же (самый)” – the (very) same

Forms of “тот” followed by the emphatic particle “же (самый)” express the idea of “the (very) same”. The pronoun “тот (же)” can occur in the main clause of a complex sentence as a modifier of the antecedent to the relative pronoun “который” (that/who) in the subordinate clause. For example, “тот же …, который” means “the same … that”.

Я хочу тот же десерт, что я ела вчера. – I’d like to have the same dessert that I ate yesterday.
У офиса стояла та же машина, что мы видели на прошлой неделе. – Near the office, there was the same car that we saw last week.

3. “и тот и другой” – both

Forms of “тот” combined with forms of “другой” (other) have the meaning of “both” (like ОБА or ОБЕ), referring to one and the other. This phrase is used when the two entities being referred to differ in some way. When the two things differ in gender or number, the neuter form “и то и другое” must be used.

– Какой костюм вам нравится? (Which suit do you like?)

– И тот, и другой. (Both.)

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