THIS, definitive adjective or substitute. plural these.
1. this is a definitive, or definitive adjective, denoting something that is present or near in place or time, or something just mentioned. Is this your younger brother? What trespass is this which ye have committed?
Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? John 9:2.
When they heard this they were pricked to the heart. Acts 2:6.
In the latter passage, this is a substitute for what had preceded, vix. the discourse of Peter just delivered. In like manner, this often represents a word, a sentence or clause, or a series of sentences of events.
In some cases, it refers to what is future, or to be immediately related.
But know this that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Matthew 24:14.
Here this refers to the whole subsequent member of the sentence.
2. By this is used elliptically for by this time; as, by this the mail has arrived.
3. this is used with words denoting time past; as, I have taken no snuff for this month; and often with plural words. I have not wept this forty years.
In this case, this in the singular, refers to the whole term of time, or period; this period of forty years.
4. this is opposed to that.
THIS way and that the wav'ring sails they bend.
A body of this or that denomination is produced.
THIS and that, in this use, denote difference indefinitely.
5. When this and that refer to different things before expressed, this refers to the thing last mentioned, and that to the thing first mentioned. [See These.]
Their judgment in this we may not, and in that we need not, follow.
6. It is sometimes opposed to other.
Consider the arguments which the author had to write this or to design the other, before you arraign him.