Tom and Jacob both responded that they were unable to attend the black-tie gala. Therefore, [these or those] place settings, to my left, may be removed. And you can put the two extra chairs near [these or those] at the back of the room.
This, that, these and those are demonstrative pronouns. When choosing between these and those, the decisive factor is whether the things you’re talking about are near or far.
“Do you need these folders?” (Speaker is holding folders.)
“No, I need those.” (Speaker is pointing to folders on a desk farther away.)
In some cases, it’s a psychological distance. Are you referring to something that you just mentioned or something that you mentioned a sentence or two ago?
“In February and March, sales were up. During those two months, we got a bonus.”
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