There are two words in Chinese that are both translated as “This” in English (这个 and 本). What is the difference between them and how to use them correctly ?
- When 本 is used with an identity (person, company) it is exclusively referring to the first-person, and 这 is mostly referring to the third-person (some people do refer to oneself in the third-person)
这个人 (this person - the third-person)
这位法官 = this judge (the third-person)
这間公司 = this company (the third-person)
本人 = this person (the first-person) --> this person (I myself)
本官 = this judge (the first-person) --> this judge, (I myself)
本公司 = this company (the first-person) --> this company (our company)
[本 + identity] is not always a "humbling word" for example 本大少爺 means 'This young master (I)'
本 means 'this/ current' when it is used with time. The difference between [这个星期六，今個世紀 ，今年] and [本週六，本世紀，本年度] is the former is more colloquial and the latter is more literary
'本地' is a compound word meaning 'local/ domestic' (adj) e.g. '本地品牌' or 'this land'; 本土 is a compound word meaning 'native' e.g. 本土品牌 or 'mainland' e.g. 日本本土
这个 is neutral to colloquial in register, whereas 本 is very formal and almost exclusively used in writing.
此 and 该 are two other formal options, both roughly equal in formality to 本.
Note that 本 is also a classifier for things like books, so you may see something like 这本书. This usage is completely separate from the formal usage.