A determiner in English grammar is a word placed in front of a noun to specify quantity or to clarify what the noun refers to. For example: the lake, an apple, my pencil, some paper, five trees, each person, that book etc.
Determiners can be classified as :
(1) Article (a/an, the)
(2) A Demonstrative determiner (this, that, these, those)
(3) A Possessive determiner (my, your, his, her, its, our, their)
(4) A Quantifier (many, much, more, most, some, all, every, few, little )
(5) Numbers (cardinal and ordinal numbers double/twice/three times...)
(6) Interrogative determiners (whose, what, which)
Pre-determiners come before main determiners and post-determiners come after main determiners.
(1) Article (a/an, the)
The determiner a/an and the are called articles. They come at the very beginning of a noun phrase.
We divide them into “indefinite” and “definite”. When we are talking about something in general, we use a or an. When we are talking about something in particular, we use the.
(a) Indefinite article (a, an) = They are used with singular countable nouns only and for a non-specific person or thing (singular).
We use a before a consonant sound.
We use an before a vowel sound.
(1) She had an omelette for lunch.
(2) Mohan ordered a drink.
(3) We want to buy an umbrella.
(4) A dog is a good pet.
(5) A man came into the shop.
(6) I want an apple.
(7) I saw a tall girl today.
(8) I came here to submit an application.
(9) An ostrich would beat a chicken in a race.
(10) I will buy a house in an hour.
(b) Definite article (the) = They are used with all nouns and for specific people or things (singular or plural).
(1) I saw the moon last night.
(2) Where’s the newspaper?
(3) The president will be speaking on TV tonight.
(4) He is the tallest boy in the class.
(5) The dog is barking too loudly.
(6) There are six eggs in the fridge.
(7) The dog chased the rabbit.
(8) The book on the table is very expensive.
(9) The luxury car is a rich man’s vehicle.
(10) Close the door, please.
(2) Demonstrative determiner
A demonstrative determiner defines where its noun or pronoun is in relation to the speaker. They can refer to a physical or a psychological closeness or distance.
The closeness can be in space or time (now, yesterday, last week, next year)
Examples : here, there, this, that, these, those,
Demonstrative determiners with singular nouns & uncountable nouns are this and that.
Demonstrative determiner with plural countable nouns are these and those.
(1) This is a nice surprise!
(2) I have to do it this morning.
(3) Those children are interested in playing cricket.
(4) That is our new car.
(5) These magazines are very good.
(6) I don’t want to go to that movie.
(7) Those days are long gone.
(8) Those birds have beautiful.
(9) This book belongs to my sister.
(10) This is a very good grammar website.
(11) These oranges are delicious.
(12) Can you see those birds?
(13) These black raspberries are sour.
(14) This phone is not working properly.
(15) That towel is very wet.
(16) These colours are mine.
(17) I like those apples .
(18) These glasses are for reading.
(19) Do you remember that man we met last week?
(20) Is that Rohan’s house over there?
(3) Possessive determiner
We use possessive determiners to show who owns or “possesses” something.
The possessive determiners are: my, your, his, her, its, our, their
|Subject pronoun||Object pronoun||Determiner||Possessive pronoun||Intensive pronoun|
|3rd person, neutral||it||it||it||itself|
(1) This is my pencil box
(2) His name is Tom.
(3) Her dress is very beautiful.
(4) It is their house.
(5) Where is your room?
(6) We aren’t coming.
(7) The teacher wants to talk to you.
(8) The tree shed its leaves.
(9) Our teacher looks very young.
(10) I put some cookies on the table and the kids ate them.
(4) A Quantifier
Quantifiers are determiners that describe quantity in a noun phrase. We use some quantifiers only with countable nouns. We use some other quantifiers only with uncountable nouns. And we use some with countable or uncountable nouns.
Examples : all, every, most, many, much, some, few, little, several, any etc.
(1) Most children start school at the age of five.
(2) There are some letters here for you.
(3) She doesn’t have many books.
(4) All the girls had to carry their own luggage.
(5) We don’t have much money.
(6) We ate some bread and butter.
(7) Petrol prices go up each year.
(8) I can speak little hindi.
(9) We are expecting several guests tonight.
(10) Many people died in that calamity.
The cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.) are adjectives referring to quantity, and the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) refer to distribution.
(1) There are twenty-five beds available in a hospital.
(2) There are twenty students in a class.
(3) He went to Goa for the third time this year.
(4) He was the first person to win the award.
(5) I ordered two pizzas.
(6) They have just produced their one millionth sports car.
(7) Thousands of people died in Earthquake.
(8) There are twelve colours in a colour box.
(9) Ten people were arrested in a robbery.
(10) Geetika won second prize in painting competition.
(6) Interrogative determiners
The interrogative determiners are whose, what, which.
Whose means “belonging to which person
What is for asking for information specifying something.
Which is for asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set.
(1) Whose diamond ring was stolen?
(2) Where is your classroom?
(3) Which book do you think is the most interesting?
(4) What product do you use?
(5) Which restaurant did you go to?
(6) I don’t know what non-fiction books he was reading.
(7) I wonder whose dog that is.
(8) Whose bag is this?
(9) What should I do with the new laptop?
(10) Which of these books is new?