A. Here’s the problem:
When you write about literature, you’re trying to come up with ideas, draw conclusions, say important things. Unfortunately, you sometimes cut corners, using demonstratives—this, that, these, and those—to refer to complete sentences or to ideas previously stated. This won’t do.
B. What to do:
Your writing will be more precise if you simply avoid using the four demonstratives as pronouns and either use them as adjectives or recast the sentence to eliminate them. They do have appropriate uses as pronouns—otherwise they wouldn’t be listed as such—but for our purposes they’re better off as adjectives or omitted altogether.
C. Example: Mr. Darcy is not as horrible as first expected. This is shown when he stands up for Elizabeth, commenting about her eyes.
Corrected Version: Mr. Darcy is not as horrible as first expected. We begin to like him when he stands up for Elizabeth, commenting about her eyes.
D. Now you try—write corrected versions of the following sentences.
1. Elizabeth looks at the mind instead of the money. She demonstrates this particularly well in her conversation with Lady Catherine.
2. She stands firm in her belief, respecting people for intelligence rather than wealth; She earns my respect in doing this because . . .
E. For more information or additional practice, check the following sources: