Determiners 

 In English grammar, a determiner is a word or a group of words that specifies, identifies, or quantifies the noun or noun phrase that follows it. It is also known as a prenominal modifier. Basically, determiners come at the start of a noun phrase and tell more about what comes after it (or them, in the case of a phrase that has more than one determiner before the noun).

Determiners include articles (a, an, the), cardinal numbers (one, two, three…) and ordinal numbers (first, second, third…), demonstratives (this, that, these, those), partitives (some of, piece of, and others), quantifiers (most, all, and others), difference words (other, another), and possessive determiners (my, your, his, her, its, our, their).

 

Types of Determiners 

Determiners come in various shapes and forms, with each one of them serving a different function.

The different types include articles, demonstratives, quantifiers, interrogatives, and possessives.

Quantifiers 

Quantifiers inform us about the quantity or amount of the underlying noun. They’re basically meant to answer the question “how much?” or “how many?”

Examples of quantifiers include a little, a few, most, some, much, and any to name a few.

Examples in a sentence:

  • How many students attend your class?
  • How much money do you have?
  • Only a little milk is left.
 

Demonstratives 

As the name suggests, demonstratives are meant to point to a particular noun. They’re also used indicate the position or location of a noun from the speaker’s point of view.

Examples of demonstratives include this, that, these, and those.

The demonstrative ‘this’ is used to refer to a singular noun [External Link] that’s near the speaker while ‘these’ refers to items in plural that are near the speaker.

The demonstrative ‘that’, on the other hand, is used to refer to a singular noun that’s further away from the speaker, while ‘those’ refers to plural nouns that are further away from the speaker.

Examples in a Sentence:

  • This is my jacket.
  • These are our cups.
  • That is my uncle.
  • Those are our aunts.
 

Possessives 

These ones express possession or ownership. They’re different from possessive pronouns [External Link] in the sense that they can’t stand alone. For instance, it’s grammatically correct to say “this cup is mine”, and NOT “this cup is my”. In which case, ‘mine’ is possessive pronoun while ‘my’ is a possessive determiner.

Examples include my, our, his, her, their.

Examples in a Sentence: 

  • This is my girlfriend.
  • This is our house.
  • She used to be his friend.
  • This is their oranges.
 

Interrogatives 

As you could have guessed, interrogatives are meant to ask questions. Examples include what, whose, and which.

Examples in a sentence:

  • Whose T-shirt is this?
  • What time are you leaving?
  • Which gift item would you prefer picking for your dad?

This is the complete lesson on determiners in English Grammar, I hope you liked this lesson, if so then feel free to share this stuff with your friends.

(1) The Definite Article (The)

“The” is called the definite article. It defines its noun as something specific (e.g., something previously mentioned or known, something unique, something being identified by the speaker).

  • This is the lake.

More  examples:

  • She’s the chosen one.
  • Canada is one of the most visited countries in the world.

(This is a previously specified lake, i.e., one already known to the readers.)

(2) The Indefinite Article (A, An)

“A” and “an” are called indefinite articles. They define their noun as something unspecific (e.g., something generic, something mentioned for the first time).

  • This is a lake.

More examples:

  • She’s an engineer.
  • His kid is a boy.
  • Pick a friend.

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