In English, we use this to indicate something close to us, or the first one and that to indicate something further off, or the next one. Apparently, early English did not have this distinction.
This quote is from here:
that: From c. 1200 opposed to this as indicating something farther off.
Chinese has 这， 那 which seem to correspond with this, that.
Has Chinese always made a distinction between this and that? In old Chinese was this distinction present?