What are these/those?

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, the following is a part of a conversation from the BBC podcast/episode Learning English - The English We Speak - Dinosaur

Helen: Well, I love modern technology.

Rob:
Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram?

Helen:
No, what are these?

Rob:
Oh dear, Helen! You really are a dinosaur!


Helen says "what are these?"
To me, the distance between the unknown words Rob said and Helen seems to be not close enough for her to use "these". Isn't "what are those?" (or "what are they"?) more appropriate?
 
  • meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you all very much for the replies.

    Since Helen was on the site to learn English, it's understandable that she was close but didn't get it quite right.
    Yes, I wondered about that. According to another episode of this podcast series, she's originally from China, and is usually one of the few learners that show up in the series. But since she speaks fluent English (at least in terms of pronunciation) and this is an English-learning podcast, BBC probably should have let her say "What are they?" or one of the sentences others suggested above.
     
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