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:
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.
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?