- This means so.
An example of this used as an adverb is the phrase "this big" being spoken as someone holds their hands a foot apart implying how big of a box they need.
- This is used to reference a person or a thing.
An example of this is someone talking about and pointing at a plant which they are holding.
this definition by Webster's New World
- the person or thing mentioned or understood: this is John; this tastes good
- the thing that is nearer than another referred to as “that”: this is larger than that
- the less remote in thought of two contrasted things: of the two possibilities, this is more likely than that
- the fact, idea, etc. that is being, or is about to be, mentioned, presented, etc.: this convinces us; now hear this
Origin: Middle English this, thes ; from Old English thes, masculine , this, neuter ; from base of the demonstrative pronoun : see that
- designating the person or thing mentioned or understood: this man was John; this pie tastes good
- designating the thing that is nearer than the one referred to as “that”: this desk is smaller than that one
- designating the less remote in thought of two contrasted things: of the two, this possibility is more likely than that
- designating something that is being, or is about to be, mentioned, presented, etc.: hear this song; this fact will convince you
- Informal designating a particular but unspecified person or thing: there's this lady in Iowa
this definition by American Heritage Dictionary
pron. pl. these these
- a. Used to refer to the person or thing present, nearby, or just mentioned: This is my cat. These are my tools.b. Used to refer to what is about to be said: Now don't laugh when you hear this.c. Used to refer to the present event, action, or time: said he'd be back before this.
- Used to indicate the nearer or the more immediate one: This is mine and that is yours.
- Being just mentioned or present in space, time, or thought: She left early this morning.
- Being nearer or more immediate: this side and that side.
- Being about to be stated or described: Just wait till you hear this story.
- Informal Used as an emphatic substitute for the indefinite article: looking for this book of recipes.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English; see to- in Indo-European roots.Usage Note: This and that are both used as demonstrative pronouns to refer to a thought expressed earlier: The letter was unopened; that (or this) in itself casts doubt on the inspector's theory. That is sometimes viewed as the better choice in referring to what has gone before (as in the preceding example). When the referent is yet to be mentioned, only this is used: This (not that) is what bothers me: we have no time to consider late applications. • This is often used in speech and informal writing as an emphatic substitute for the indefinite article to refer to a specific thing or person: You should talk to this friend of mine at the Department of Motor Vehicles. I have this terrible feeling that I forgot to turn off the gas. It is best to avoid this substitution in formal writing except when a conversational tone is desired. See Usage Note at that.