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,
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.
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.
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.
The Lion is a fierce animal.
The dog is a faithful animal
The before the names of rivers, ranges of mountains, seas, oceans, valleys, gulfs, deserts and groups of islands.
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.
The United Kingdom.
The United States of America.
The before the name of a direction.
Nepal is in the north of India.
The Sun rises in
The before ordinals and superlatives and such common nouns which are unique of their kind.
For example; She is standing in the third row.
the hardest metal.
the largest land animal
Kashmir the heaven on
The before such proper nouns which are used as common nouns.
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.
Gold is a precious metal.
this, these, that, those are used before a noun to determine it position (near or far).
This and these indicate nearest to the speaker.
1. I like this book. (near)
2. These books are mine. (near)
That and those indicate distance from the speaker.
1. That tree is tall. (far)
2. Those trees are green. (far)
my, his, her, your, ours, their, one’s are used to indicate the possession ownership of the nouns.
1. Their team has won the match.
2. His shirt was torn.
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.
Each of them had a gun in his hand.
Every is used in speaking of some number exceeding two.
Every citizen has right to raise his voice.
Either means one of two or each of two that is both.
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.
1. Neither shop offers discount. (none of both/two)
2. He took neither side in the dispute. (neither this nor that)
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.
1. He has
few books in his library. (almost no books)
Few men can keep a secret.
A few means some at least. It has a positive meaning.
1 He has a few books left in his library.
A few books left are mine.
few denotes all of whatever there is.
1. He lost
the few friends he had. (all the less number of friends).
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.
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.
He wasted the little money he had.
Less is used with reference to quantity and Fewer with reference to number.
1. I can not buy
less than four kg of rice.
fewer than two thousand people were present today.
Some and Any express quantity.Some is used in the affirmative sentences and any in
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.
Any fool can do it.
2. Have you
Some can be used in interrogative sentences when there is a polite request.
Will you give me some cash?
Much stands for quantity and many denotes number.
1. Were there
many people watching the movies?
2. She doesn’t have
No Precedes the noun that it qualifies and none follows it.
1. The poor boy had
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.
Several people sang in the competition.
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.
quantifying determiners are many, any, more, one, two, first, second,
last, either, neither, a lot of, etc.
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