Determiners

A Determiner is a word or a group of words that introduces a noun. It is an important noun modifier that introduces and provides context to a noun. Determiners in English precede a noun or noun phrase and include articles, numerals, demonstrative pronouns, possessive pronouns and indefinite adjectives.

Articles are among the most common of the determiners. ‘A and an’ are the indefinite articles. ‘The’ being the definite article expresses the specificity of a noun.

For example: A student is reading the textbook. The client is waiting since morning. “This, that, these and those” are demonstrative pronouns. It requires a frame of reference in which an individual can point out the entities referred to by a speaker or a writer.

For example: This is my office building. I want that white dress for the party.

Possessive pronouns show ownership. They can stand alone and are not followed by nouns. It includes my, mine, our, ours, its, his, her, hers, their, theirs, your and yours.

For example: This is your room and that is hers.

A quantifier is a word or phrase which is used before a noun to indicate the amount or quantity. 'Some', 'many', 'a lot of', most, enough and 'a few' are examples of quantifiers.

For example: All the students assembled in the prayer hall.

Numerals are determiners when they appear before a noun. In this position, cardinal numerals express quantity. For example: one tree, five tress and twenty trees. In the same position, ordinal numerals express sequence. For example: first opportunity, second year and fifth house.

Distributive determiners refer to a group of people or things and to individual members of the group. They show different ways of looking at the individuals within a group and they express how something is distributed, shared or divided. For example: all, both, half, either, each, every etc.

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