Points to Remember:
- Determiners are words that come before nouns. They show whether a noun refers to a general or specific person, place or object and which or how many things.
- Determiners and nouns together make noun phrases; e.g. a pen, the pen, every pen, my pen, many pens.
- Determiners limit the noun by giving some additional information about the noun, e.g. ‘The pen’ refers to a pen, which has been mentioned earlier.
- A noun phrase may include both a determininer and an adjective. The determiner mayprecede numerals or adjectives : e.g. a young girl, a tall boy, all senior players, some responsible citizens.
MOST COMMONLY USED DETERMINERS:
Articles: a, an, the
Possessive: my, our, your, his, her, its, their
Demonstrative :this that, these, those
Adjectives and Pronouns of indefinite number or quantity: some, each, Ever,any,no,all,little,less,many,much,neither,either,enough,few,first,third,last,what,which, whose. E.g.
- Mumbai is a costly city.
- Some members abstained from voting.
- Our neighbour is very friendly.
- This language is very useful.
- All the students were punished for negligence.
(a) Use of Articles :
A or An
- ‘A’ and ‘An’ are used before a singular countable noun to show that it is not specific.
- The use of ‘A’ and ‘An’ is governed by the initial sound of the noun before which it is used
- ‘A’ is used before consonant sounds. E.g. girl, a man, a university, a unit etc.
- ‘An’ is used before a vowel sounds. E..g. an egg. An honest man, an elephant etc.
- The is used to show that the noun is specific. E.g. The first railway line in India was laid in Maharashtra.
- ‘The’ is used when the noun is preceded by a superlative adjective. E.g. the tallest, the largest etc. U.S.A. is the richest country in the world.
- ‘The’ is used for nouns that are common to all people. E.g. the sun, the moon, the sky, the earth etc. The earth is round.
- ‘The” is used with uncountable nouns if indicating specifics. E.g. The milk has turned sour. The water is not clean. If unspecific meaning is indicated then ‘the’ is not used. E.g. Water is an important component of our food.
- ‘The’ is used when we refer to whole group of people. E.g. the Americans, the evil, the good etc. The Americans are hard working and industrious.
- ‘The’ is used before names of government departments, museums, newspapers etc. E.g. The Ministry of Health, The Prince of Wales Museum, The Indian Express
- ‘The’ is used before names of oceans, river, mountain ranges, deserts, holy books, canals etc. The pacific Ocean, The Alps, The Sahara desert, The Ramayana, The Suez Canal.
- ‘The’ is not used before names of persons, continents, cities, holidays of the week, subjects of studies etc.
Determiners of Quantity:
- Many is used only with plural nouns and to show a large number. E.g. There are many students in the class.
- Much is used with uncountable nouns indicating a large quantity. E.g. There was much noise (i.e. a lot of noise)
- Some and any show not a large quantity.
- Some is used in affirmative sentences. E.g. There is some water in the glass.
- Any is used in interrogative or negative sentences. E.g. is there any sugar in the house? There isn’t any sugar in the house.
Each and Every both indicate single units in a group.
- Each refers to individual member of a small group. E.g. Each of her four sons has a new car.
- Every refers to members of a large group. E.g. Every person above 18 years of age is eligible to vote.
- Sometimes both ‘each’ and ‘every’ can be used. E.g. Each / Every victim was given financial support.
- All is used to indicate the whole group rather than its components. E.g. All the students are preparing for their examinations.
Few, a few, the few denote numbers.
- Few means very small number, not enough and below expectation. E.g. Few students are interest in learning languages.
- A few indicates some number. E.g. Few students are good at English.
- The few indicates very small specific numbers. E.g. The few students who are good at English always speak in English.
Little, a little, the little denote quantity.
- Little means very small quantity, not enough and below expectation. E.g. He knows little about the matter.
- A little indicates some quantity. E.g. A little water is left in the jug.
- The little indicates very small specific quantity. E.g. He drank the little water that was left in the jug.