Determiners are words that introduce nouns. These are the different types:
Articles: a, an, the
Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
Possessive Adjectives: my, your, her, his, our, its, their
Quantifiers: a little, a few, many, much, a lot of, most, any, some, enough
Numbers: one, five, forty
Distributives: both, all, half, neither, either, every, each
Interrogatives: what, which, whose
The grammar rules for determiners are that they:
Always come before a noun
Come before any modifiers (e.g. adjectives) used before the noun
Are required before a singular noun
Are optional before plural nouns
Here are some examples of determiners used with the noun 'house':
Determiners are commonly used as part of noun phrases, which will also include a modifier (an adjective, another noun, a possessive form, or an adverb-adjective combination).
Here are some examples of noun phrases that consist of:
determiner + modifier + noun
Examples of Determiners
Here are some more examples of determiners with nouns in sentences. The determiner is in red and the noun is in bold. Note the modifiers separating them in certain cases:
Articles can be definite articles (the) or indefinite (a or an). The is used when the speaker thinks that the listener already knows what is being referred to. Otherwise a (before consonants) or an (before vowels) is used.
There are many rules though around articles which need to be studied carefully.
She took a significant amount of time to learn English
I bought a nice present for my uncle
There's anotter over there
Thebeaches in Goa are beautiful
I'll give you anexample of theessay question
Demonstrative determiners are used to identify or point to a particular person, event, or object. This and that are singular. These and those are plural.
I like this kind of biscuit
Why don't you buy thatbook instead of thisone?
Thosechildren outside are being too noisy for thistime of night
I'll take thesepills for my back ache later
Possessive adjective determiners function as adjectives rather than pronouns. As they are adjectives, they appear before the noun that they are modifying.
Do you like my new dress?
I prefer myuniform to yours (i.e. youruniform)
Take yourphone out of yourpocket
I really respect her controversial views on abortion
His old motorbike is a classic
Let's let them use our house for their wedding reception
The dog has eaten itsfood
Quantifiers provide approximate or specific answers to the questions "How many?" and "How much?"
I only take a little bit of milk with my tea
Quite a fewpeople should be coming to the party
I didn't take manyholidays last year
I haven't brought muchmoney with me
Do you think a lot ofpeople believe what he says?
Moststudents work hard to pass their exams
Have you got anyproof that he committed the crime?
It takes someeffort for me to do exercise
Do we have enoughrice to last the week?
Numbers are either cardinal (one, two, three, etc.), which are adjectives referring to quantity, or ordinal (first, second, third, etc.) referring to distribution.
Twocars are enough for most families
There are about twenty-fivepeople in my office
It's my fortiethbirthday next week
That is the secondtime you've done that!
Distributive determiners are used to refer to a group or individual members of the group. They reveal more about how people or things are distributed, shared, or divided.
Bothcountries need to discuss the issues and find a solution
All pet dogs need plenty of attention
Half the people decided not to vote
Neitherhouse is suitable for our needs
We can eat at either7pm or 8pm
Interrogatives are used to ask questions. Which as a determiner is used to ask about a specific group of people or things.
What as a determiner is used when we are asking a general question. Whose is used to ask a question about possession.