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これ・それ・あれ act as pronouns, while この・その・あの act as adjectives. There is also the matter of spatial reference. これ・この refer to things close to the speaker, それ・その refer to things close to the listener, and あれ・あの refer to things away from the speaker and the listener. Since この・その・あの act as adjectives, you must attach a noun to them. Since は is not a noun, ...


The choice depends on whether a noun is attached. So このペン (this pen) is okay but これペン is not grammatical. Conversely これ (this) is okay but この is not grammatical.

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