How to use determiners in English

What are determiners?

Determiners are words that are placed in front of a noun to help identify what the noun refers to or to specify a quantity. 

There are four types of determiners in English. 

  1. Articles
  2. Possessive determiners
  3. Demonstrative determiners
  4. Quantifiers 


There are three articles in English.

The indefinite article a is used before a word beginning with a consonant. E.g. There is a book on the desk. 📕  ➜ The letter b is a consonant. 

The indefinite article an is used before a word beginning with a vowel. E.g. There is an apple in the bowl. 🍎  ➜ The letter a is a vowel. 

The definite article the is used when we already know the noun being referred to. It can also be used when talking about something that there is only one of e.g. the earth. 🌍

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Possessive determiners

Possessive determiners show who owns something.

Examples of possessive determiners are my, his, her, your, our, their, etc. In a sentence, a possessive determiner comes before a noun or a pronoun to show who or what owns it.

E.g. Those are my trainers. 👟

E.g. Her name is Jenny. 🙎🏻‍♀️

Demonstrative determiners

Demonstrative determiners show which person or thing is being referred to.

Examples of demonstrative determiners are this, that, these, and those. In a sentence, a demonstrative pronoun is commonly followed by a verb. 

E.g. This is my book. 📕

E.g. Those are my shoes. 👞

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Quantifiers refer to the amount or quantity of something. It can be a number or a general quantifier.

Some examples of general quantifiers are much, many, all, none, few, etc. 

E.g. James has twenty books. The quantifier in this example is twenty. 📚

E.g. James has many books. The quantifier in this example is many. 📚

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