These Data or This Data – Which Is Correct?

Sometimes, pronouns in the English language can be tough to use. This is especially true when they’re very similar words. This is the case with “these” and “this”. Would you say “these data”? Or is “this data” the correct phrasing? This article’s aim is to answer all these questions.

These Data or This Data – Which Is Correct?

This answer is a little complex. Originally, “these data” would’ve been the correct answer. But in the modern era, this has shifted, and now “this data” is the predominantly preferred version. Many spell-checkers will fault you for using “these data”, so you should use “this data” instead.

these data or this data

Way back, the word “data” was actually a plural form for the word “datum”. This meant that “these data” was the grammatically correct version. However, this has shifted in the last thirty years or so.

With the advent of the internet, and of most modern technological advances, the word “data” has shifted in use. It has changed from a plural form of “datum” to an uncountable, mass noun.

This means that if you were to use “these data” you wouldn’t technically be grammatically incorrect, but for the sake of clarity it’s best to just use “this data”.

This Data

“This data” is the grammatically correct, preferred way to refer to a piece of data or information that is, in some way, close to you. Using “this data” is always preferred, because it’s a very common phrase and people will understand what you mean.

You’d use “this data” when you want to refer to a piece of information that is close at hand, and because it’s an uncountable noun, it doesn’t matter if the data is singular or plural.

Here are some examples sentences that include the correct use of “this data” in them:

  1. This data is, quite frankly, astonishing, and I’m excited to share its details with you.
  2. This data that he sent over is going to be really useful for the editing process.
  3. This data that you added to the system last week has been making it a lot slower.
  4. When she showed me this data, I realized that we had gotten it all wrong from the beginning.
  5. If you will all please take a look at this data, you will see that we have improved a lot.
  6. Looking at this data, the first thing I unfortunately notice is that it’s formatted incorrectly.
  7. This data that he found on the old computer might just crack this entire case wide open.

These Data

“These data” is the traditionally correct way to refer to several pieces of data or information, and it’s not grammatically incorrect or invalid. However, its modern use is mostly limited to very specialized, technical fields, and it’s not a common expression in the modern world beyond those fields.

You can freely use “these data” and have it be grammatically correct with no issues, but considering the context in which you’re using “these data” is as important as the grammar.

It’s probably smart to use “these data” in a context where the people are either of a certain age, or work in fields that still use “these data”, to ensure they won’t be confused.

Here are some example sentences that showcase the ways in which you could use “these data”:

  1. These data are really impressive, and validate this entire project’s purpose in the first place.
  2. These data are going to play really well at the science conference next week, I really think so.
  3. He came over and showed us all these data, and her reaction was really interesting at the time.
  4. These data not only exonerate my client from all these charges, but they also reveal the culprit.
  5. These data, at the time, absolutely changed the panorama for modern scientific studies.
  6. These data that we collected when producing the short film are really interesting to look through.
  7. These data are going to really blow people away, once they are ready to face the numbers.

Those Data

“Those data” is another antiquated, yet still grammatically correct, way to refer to several pieces of information that are not close to the person who is currently speaking. Using “those data” is grammatically correct, but it’s specifically used in technical fields or by people of a certain age.

While you might not find the average person on the street using “those data” instead of “that data” (the more widespread form), it’s still a grammatically correct expression that has not become outdated.

These example sentences will teach you how to use “those data” in a sentence with ease:

  1. Those data that he talked about in his presentation, they relate to a lot of big things.
  2. The implications of all those data that she brought up at the meeting are huge.
  3. Those data are outdated and I can’t fully trust all of it without external verification.
  4. Those data might look confusing at first, but if you analyze them you’ll understand them.
  5. Those data are going to change the entire tech field in the next few years, you’ll see.
  6. When you think about those data, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
  7. Those data that they presented were really impressive, maybe we should pivot as well.

Final Thoughts

The truth is that both “this data” and “these data” are grammatically correct and valid, though you’ll probably use them a bit differently. “This data” is the common, widespread version, where “data” is an uncountable noun. “These data” is more specialized and technical, but still valid.

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