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What are determiners?


Articles - a, an & the - belong to a group of words that we call determiners


The job of the determiner is to make it clear what the noun (chair, table, fish, computer, teacher, etc.) that follows is – that is, who owns it (his, her, etc) how many (one, three, many, enough, etc), what we are talking about (this, that, the, etc), and so on.


It tells you whether the noun is talking about something specific, or what kind of thing the noun is in general.


So we should understand what these are before moving on.


d) A QUICK CHECK (5 minutes)

Can you match the determiner name (a-e) with the examples (1-5)?


Determiner name

a) Article
b) Possessive
c) Demonstrative
d) Quantifier
e) Numeral


1. my car, your dog, his fish, her house, its dinner, our party, their garden, Jill's cat.
2. one car, two/three trees
3. the kitchen, a radio, an umbrella, furniture, salt
4. this sweater, that book, these photographs, those pieces of paper
5. each/every day, either/neither car, any office/no office, all (the) files, many mistakes, some time, (a) few pieces of toast, enough money, several departments, both machines, any chocolate                              



The possessive is used to show that someone or something has or possesses something else or has similar ideas: John’s dog, our friends, this is my book, that was his idea, etc.


The demonstrative are the words this, that, these, thosethis book is mine, that was not a good idea, these apples are expensive, those people need to leave. 


The quantifier tells us how many or the amount of something, but without always being precise as to how much or how many: This rule applies to every individual. I have been working on the project for some time. I don’t have enough milk. There are many issues to discuss. Have you got any paper? Several people were injured in the accident.


The numeral is clear enough: the number of something. Three cats. Seven hundred citizens.


Now we know that the article is an example of a determiner, and like all determiners it comes before a noun or noun phrase, and it is this particular determiner that we are going to examine in more detail.


So if you are still with me on this, click NEXT below!

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