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Determiners

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Determiners are words we use with nouns to point towards who or what we are talking about.
For example,
a girl
five bags
this basket
her camera
Determiners come at the beginning of the noun phrase. Notice that determiners and adjectives can be used together as premodifiers to give more information about the noun.

Premodifiers


Types of Determiners

There are four types of determiners. The most common determiners are the articles a, an and the. We use them to point to or talk about different things.

Examples:

1. Kabir is a race car driver.
2. Ishani has an idea for the fund-raising.
3. The train was very crowded.

The other determiners that tell us more about nouns are

Demonstrative Determinersthis, that, these, those - point to people or things. This and these are used for things that are near to us. That and those are used for things that are away from us.

Examples:

  1. This book is engaging. That book is boring.
  2. These mangoes are delicious, but those mangoes are sour.

Possessive Determiners such as my, your, his, her, its, our and their show ownership. They tell us who or what something belongs to. Unlike possessive pronouns—mine, his, hers, yours, ours, theirs—possessive determiners are followed by nouns or noun phrases.

Examples:

  1. My mother bought me a new canvas backpack.
  2. Bill fell and broke his arm.

Possessive determiners can also take the possessive –‘s form in noun phrases.

Examples:

1. Daniel’s brothers have acted in movies.
2. Nina’s cousin is a doctor.

Interrogative Determiners such as whose, which, what, how many and how much are usually used to ask for specific information about people, places or things.
  • When we want to ask which person something belongs to, we use whose.
          Example: Whose wallet is this?

  • When we want to ask someone to be exact about one or more people or things from a limited number, we use which.
          Example: Which shop sells essential oils?

  • When we want to ask for particular information about people, places or things, we use what.
          Example: What time is it?

  • When we want to ask about quantity, we use how many and how much.
          Example: How many states are there in India?

                          How much sugar do you need? 

Quantifiers show how much or how many people or things there are. We use different quantifiers for countable and uncountable nouns. Some quantifiers can be used for both countable and uncountable nouns.
Example:
Quantifiers Examples


Cardinal Numbers such as one, five, ten and thirty are quantifiers, which we use before singular and plural nouns. 

Examples:
  1. I need two packets of flour to make pancakes for the party.
  2. There are twenty-five students in my class.
Ordinal Numbers such as first, third and fifteenth, which show the order of things can be said to be quantifiers too. However, we cannot use them with plural nouns.

Examples:

  1. David won first prize in the competition.
  2. It’s my fifteenth birthday.

List of Determiners


List of Determiners

Exercises

Choose the correct determiner.
  1. _____ camera is a digital SLR. [His, Theirs]
  2. The librarian showed me _____ books. [much, several.]
  3. Michael ordered ____ [a few, some] noodles, _____ [a few, a little] dumplings, and ____ [few, some] soup.
  4. Do you want me to grease ____ trays? [this, these]
  5. _____ topic are you interested in? [Which, What]
  6. _____ postman brought us a package. [A, The]
  7. _____ books can we put in this bag? [How many, How much]
  8. Where will you go for _____ holiday? [your, yours]
  9. We will buy ___ furniture for our new home. [many, little]
  10. The girl in the ____ row is a guitarist. [three, third]