Ultimately, the difference between these and those is rooted in the difference between the words this and that. This and that are the singular version of these and those, although there is a bit of wriggle room when we try to apply them to special sentences.
‘This’ often refers to a singular version of something nearby, and ‘these’ refers to a plural version of the same idea: “This is my computer.” “These are my computers.” In each version, we are referring to something that is here, right next to us, or is easily referenced as close by.
‘That’ refers to something further away, and therefore, ‘those’ refers to the plural of something further away: “That flower across the street is pretty.” “Those flowers across the street are pretty.”
Yet, we have to take it a step beyond the obvious, because we use language freely as a form of expression. We can say: “He gave me many reasons for breaking up, and these made me consider his point of view.” When we talk about ideas or the intangible, it can be difficult to infer distance. Many of us say the same sentence with ‘this’ in place of ‘these’. “He gave me many reasons for breaking up, and this made me consider his point of view.” In either case, there is no distance to infer, and either use would be considered correct. When we use ‘these’ in the sentence, we are referring to his reasons. When we use ‘this’ in the sentence, we are referring to his action.
1. ‘These’ is the plural version of ‘this.
2. ‘Those’ is the plural version of ‘that’.
3. ‘These’ refers to items close by.
4. ‘Those’ refers to items at a distance.
5. ‘These’ can be used with more flexibility when discussing intangible thoughts, ideas and concepts.