What are determiners? Its classification along with examples.

Determiners are words that come before nouns or at the beginning of noun phrases. Determiners limit or fix the meaning of noun in some way and help clarify what a noun refers to.

Determiners and divided into:

  • Specific
  • General

 Specific determiners

Following are specific determiners:

  • Definite article: the (the most common determiner in English; says that the noun is ‘’definite’’).

         Example: Is the sir on leave today?

  • Demonstratives: this, that, these, those (indicate nearness to or distance from the speaker).

        Example: Look at those beautiful flowers.

  • Possessives: my, your, his, her, its, our, their (indicate possession, ownership).

        Example: May I borrow your book?

We use specific determiners when:

  • The people or things we are talking about have already been mentioned.
  • The listener/reader knows exactly which people or things we referring to.

General determiners

The general determiners are:

Indefinite articles: a/an (very common determiners in English; say that the noun is ‘indefinite’).

Example: we visited an art gallery.

Quantifiers: some, few, little, may, much, several, five, next, last, etc. (indicate quantity, number, rank, or order).

Example: some parents are waiting outside the examination hall for their children.

We use general determiners when:

  • We mention people or things for the first time.
  • We speak about people or things generally without exactly referring to anyone or anything.


General determiners are used with particular types of nouns:

  • Singular count nouns: a, an, another, any, each, every, neither, no.


  • I got a letter from my brother.
  • Plural count nouns: all, enough, many, no, some, any, few, more, other, both, most.


She knows many film stars.

Non-count nouns: all, any, enough, less, little, more, much, no, some.


Can I borrow some water?

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