Some words in English language determine the meaning of nouns. They determine which or how many things noun refer to, or to show whether a noun refers to a general or
specific object, person or place. These words are called Determiners.
Determiners are of following typesy,
1 Articles
2. Demonstratives
3. Possessives
4. Distributives S. Quantifiers


A and An are indefinite articles whereas The is a definite article.
Use of ‘A’ :
• We use A before a singular countable noun beginning with a consonant.
For example: a chair, picture, dog etc.
• We use A before such vowels which give the sound of a consonant.
For example; a European, a union leader, a one-eyed man etc.
Use of ‘An’ :
• We use An before a singular countable noun beginning with a vowel.
For example;
an almirah, an apple, an inkpot etc.
• We use An before words beginning with a consonant but giving a vowel sound, i.e where the sound of the consonant is silent. For example; an hour, an honest man, an
X-ray,  an M.A. etc.
Use of The :
• We use The when we refer to some particular place, thing or person. For Example; Near my school is a bus stand. The bus stand looks dirty.
Here in the second sentence the indicates the bus stand which is near ‘my school’.
• We use The when a singular noun is used to denote or represent a whole class.
For example;
The Lion is a fierce animal.
The dog is a faithful animal
We use The before the names of rivers, ranges of mountains, seas, oceans, valleys, gulfs, deserts and groups of islands.
For example;
The Himalayas, the Persian Gulf, the Rajasthan Canal, the Thar Desert, the Nicobar
We use The before the names of such countries, provinces and states which include
words like Republic, Union , Kingdom, States.
For example;
The United Kingdom.
The United States of America.
  • We Use The before the name of a direction.

For example;

Nepal is in the north of India.

The Sun rises in the east.

  • We use The before ordinals and superlatives and such common nouns which are unique of their kind.

For example; She is standing in the third row.

Diamond is the hardest metal.

Elephant is the largest land animal

Kashmir the heaven on the Earth.

We use The before such proper nouns which are used as common nouns.

For examples;

Kashmir is the Switzerland of India.

Omission of the Articles

The omission of articles takes in the following cases:

  • Before common nouns used in the wider sense. For examples;  Iron is a metal.
  • Before proper nouns. For example; Akbar was a wise king.
  • Before abstract nouns used in general sense. For example; Honesty is the best policy.
  • Before material nouns.

For example;

Gold is a precious metal.

2. Demonstratives

Words like this, these, that, those are used before a noun to determine it position (near or far).

This and these indicate nearest to the speaker.

For example;

1. I like this book. (near)

2. These books are mine. (near)
That and those indicate distance from the speaker.
For example;
1. That tree is tall. (far)

2. Those trees are green. (far)

3. Possessives

Adjectives like my, his, her, your, ours, their, one’s are used to indicate the possession ownership of the nouns.
For example;
1. Their team has won the match.
2. His shirt was torn.

4. Distributives

Adjectives such as each, every, either, neither are distributive determiners.
  • Each means one of two things or one of any number exceeding two. It is used when whatever number is there. We do not want to miss anyone.

For example;

Each of them had a gun in his hand.

  • Every is used in speaking of some number exceeding two.
For example;
  • Every citizen has right to raise his voice.
  • Either means one of two or each of two that is both.
For example;
1. You can leave by either door. (by one door or the other)
2. Trees grow on either side of the road. (both sides)
Neither is the negative of either and means no one.
For example;
1. Neither shop offers discount.  (none of both/two)
2. He took neither side in the dispute. (neither this nor that)

5. Quantifiers

Quantifiers are adjectives that Indicate the quantity or answer the question to
what extent? or ‘how much’ in a sentence. Words like few, a few, the few. little, a little and little etc. are quantifiers.
Few means almost none has a negative meaning.
For example;
1. He has few books in his library. (almost no books)
2. Few men can keep a secret.
A few means some at least. It has a positive meaning.
For example;
1 He has a few books left in his library.
2. A few books left are mine.
The few denotes all of whatever there is.
For example;
1. He lost the few friends he had. (all the less number of friends).
2. The few books left are mine.
Little means hardly any or not much, It has a negative meaning.
For example; There was little money in the house.
A little means some at least.
It has a positive meaning.
For example;
There is a little milk left in the pot.
  • The little means all of whatever small quantity there is. It can be used both positively and negatively.

For examples;

He wasted the little money he had.

  • Less is used with reference to quantity and Fewer with reference to number.
For example;
1. I can not buy less than four kg of rice.
2. No fewer than two thousand people were present today.
Some and Any express quantity.Some is used in the affirmative sentences and any in
negative sentence.
For example;
I have some milk but I do not have any sugar .
  • Any is used in positive sentences when it has a negative meaning and also interrogative sentence.

For example;

1. Any fool can do it.
2. Have you any cash?
Some can be used in interrogative sentences when there is a polite request.
For example;
Will you give me some cash?
  • Much stands for quantity and many denotes number.
For example; 
1. Were there many people watching the movies?
2. She doesn’t have much money.
  • No Precedes the noun that it qualifies and none follows it.
  • For example;
1. The poor boy had no money.
2. I wanted some strings but there was none in the house.
All, several and enough are used where one cannot count or measure, i.e; when we
talk about a number of people or things considered as a group.
For example;
1. Several people sang in the competition.
2. All that glitters is not gold.
3. There is enough food for all.
  • Both is used when we talk about two people or things. For example;

Both are invited for the party.

Some other quantifying determiners are many, any, more, one, two, first, second,
last, either, neither,  a lot of, etc.
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