this is vs. this
- In Russian you express the phrases this is, that is, these are, with the single form это.
- In English and in Russian we use demonstrative adjectives to point to specific items in relation to ourselves. For example, to indicate a specific book that I want you to look at, I will point to the book and say "I like this book". And you might reply, "I don't like that book".
- The words "this" and "that" are demonstrative adjectives (i.e. they demonstrate or indicate nouns).
- As in other situations when a word is associated in some way with a noun, in Russian that word must agree with the noun in gender, number and case.
- This is the reason why in Russian there are four forms for the demonstrative adjective:
этот - masculine. Этот студент.
эта - feminine. Эта студентка.
это - neuter. Это письмо.
эти - plural. Эти газеты.