Determiners are described along with basic understanding, definition, meaning, various types, a lot of examples, to clear the basic concept.
Determiners – Definition, Meaning & Examples
Let’s explore determiners in terms of definition, meaning & examples!
A sentence in English cannot be completed without a noun. But the nouns should be modified by something. This is where the determiners come into the picture.
In most cases, they are followed by a noun and thus, are often compared to adjectives.
- This is because the adjectives often carry out the same action; however, the determiners are a specific set of words that are primarily used to mark the reference of the nouns.
- Without the determiners, it won’t be easy to understand what exactly the noun is referring to.
Does it sound a bit difficult to understand? Let’s try to understand the determinations meaning & meaning!
Determiners are defined as tiny words used in front of a noun to quantity or to demonstrate the noun they are referring to or to understand to whom an object belongs.
Determiners Meaning & Examples
Take few examples, like
- One horse or
- two horses or
- many horses
This ‘one’ or ‘two’ or ‘many’ actually quantifies the nouns and is known as determiners!
In the same way, we can say,
- The horse
- My horse
Here, ‘the’ and ‘my’ are determiners. Both these determiners refer to the noun.
In this post, we are going to talk about the different types of determiners, their rules, along with multiple examples.
So, let’s get started.
Types of Determiners & Examples
There are different kinds of determiners, use in our daily life.
- How much,
- How many.
- two, etc.
The articles are the first type of determiners we have on the list. They can be divided into two categories: definite articles and indefinite articles.
Before we get into definite articles, let’s look into the indefinite articles.
The role of articles as determiners is nothing but to determine whether the noun in question is something particular or not. The indefinite articles in the English language are ‘a’ and ‘an’. So what do they determine?
The use of ‘a’ and ‘an’ often decided by the first letter of the word, whether it’s a vowel or a consonant. Let’s look at a few examples:
- If we have the following word, which starts with the consonant sound, then we are going to use the determiner ‘a’.
- The same thing will also be applied if the following word is a singular countable noun. Then you must be wondering what happens with ‘an’?
- Well, the logic behind using ‘an’ is also kind of the same, but the only difference here is if the following word starts with a vowel sound (A, E, I, O, U) despite being a singular countable noun, we will use ‘an’.
- If we are mentioning a singular countable noun for the first time, then we can use ‘A’. I have listed a few examples about this below these rules.
- Another rule for using ‘a’ is when a singular countable noun or adjective begins with a consonant sound. I have also mentioned a few examples of this rule below.
- He ate a Mango.
- I watched a black horse today.
- He ate an apple after lunch.
- I have never seen a girl so pretty.
- I watched a foreign film for the first time today.
- He will be reached in about an hour.
In the English language, the definite article used is ‘The’. There are a few rules while using ‘the’, which I am listing below, along with the examples.
‘The’ can be used when the noun referred, belongs, or indicates a particular group or class. Let’s look at a few examples:
- The finest and the most luxurious cars are for men.
- My sister has volunteered for The Red Cross.
‘The’ is also used for the names of rivers, ranges of mountains, gulfs, seas, oceans, groups, islands, ships, etc.
- The Ganga river.
- The Grand Canyon.
- The Mount Everest.
We use ‘the’ for countries with plural names.
- The Philippines
- The Maldives
Whenever you refer to the Books of religion (Religious books), you need to use ‘the’.
- The Shreemad Bhagavad Gita
- The Holy Quran
‘The’ also needs to be used for names of hotels, museums, and specific building names.
- The Novotel group of Hotels
- The Louvre Museum.
If you wish to say the last names of families in the plural, then also ‘the’ will be used.
To specify particular newspapers and magazines, you need to use ‘the’.
- The Sports Illustrated.
- The Mumbai Mirror.
Indicating the superlatives of adjectives requires using ‘the’.
- The best song on the album.
- The finest pen in the world.
When you have the descriptive adjectives that speak for a whole group or class, you need to use ‘the’.
- The working class.
- The high-class society.
Whenever you wish to mention the names of races and communities in specific, you need to use ‘the’.
- The Hindus.
- The Christians.
Much like the name itself suggests, the demonstratives are the determiners that help to demonstrate the noun they are referring to.
In the English language, we have quite a few of the demonstratives, and they are This, That, These, Those.
Much like the other determiners, we need to follow a few rules while using the demonstratives. Below, I am listing them along with their examples for your better understanding.
The first rule that you need to know about demonstrative determiners is when you use ‘that’ or ‘those’ in the plural, they often help to omit the repetition of the preceding noun.
Let’s look at a few examples to understand better.
- My songs are better than those of my sisters’.
- Our security personnel is far better than those of the other companies.
The next rule about demonstrative determiner is when you use ‘This’ or plural- ‘These’, they usually refer to either a person or a thing. Or sometimes the things that are there, near to the person or the speaker.
Let’s look at a few examples of this type.
- This is definitely the best ice-cream I ever had.
- These flowers smell really nice.
The last rule about the demonstrative determiner is when you use ‘That’ or plural ‘those’, it usually refers to either a person or a thing. Or sometimes the things that are there, far from the person or the speaker.
Let’s look at a few examples of this kind.
- Get that piece of dirt out from my house.
- You need to throw away those clothes in the garbage.
Just like the name indicates, the possessive pronouns and adjectives help us understand to whom an object belongs.
These determiners are my, your, our, his, her, its, their.
Let’s look at them in a bit detailed manner.
- Mine : (First-person: This book is mine = I own this book)
- Yours : (Second person: This pencil is yours = You own this pencil)
- His, hers, and its: (Third person: This paint-brush is his/hers = He/she owns this paint-brush).
- Their : (The country belongs to them = It’s their country)
What Are The Adjectives that Correspond?
- Her, And
Now, we have quantifiers. These are often referred to as sub-class under determiners. They can also be treated as adjectives or phrases that can be used to answer two possible questions. For example,
- How many?
- How much?
The Usage of Quantifiers
- We can use the quantifiers to describe quantity.
- If you wish to express your attitude, you can also use quantifiers.
- A Little/Little/Very Little
- A Bit (Of)
- A Great Deal Of
- A Few/Few/Very Few
- A Number (Of)
- How many pencils do you have?
- How much does this pen cost?
- How many people are arriving?
- How much more money do I need to give more?
All these questions can be answered using the above list of quantifiers.
Lastly, we have the list of other determiners that does not belong to any particular group, but they all are used in some way or the other in the English language. They are:
So there you go, the complete set of determiners that are used in the English language, along with their applicable rules and examples. I strongly believe that after reading this blog post, your doubts about the determiners and their uses will be resolved.
However, it is not a very easy thing to master as it requires a lot of practice. So make sure you read and write a lot and whenever you do, do it attentively so that you can identify the determiners and understand their usage.
With repeated reading, you will be able to understand the concept better and use them to learn much effective English writing.
Should you have any further queries regarding the determiners, their rules, and uses, feel free to mention them in the comments below, and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.