What are Determiners?

Determiners are words that are used before Nouns, which determine the ‘Identity’, or  ‘Quantity’ of those Nouns.


Determiners that IDENTIFY nouns are – whose,.  his, what,.  this,.  that,.  which,.  etc.

Determiners that QUANTIFY nouns are – few,.  all,.  many,.  much,.  little,.  some,.  etc.

Types of Determiners .

There are many different types of Determiners. For example – .

Articles – like –  A,.  An,.  The.

Possessive Determiners – like –  his, my,.  our .

Demonstrative Determiners – like –  this,.  that,.  these .

Quantifying Determiners – like –  few,.  many,.  all .

Interrogative Determiners – like –  what,.  which,.  whose .

What is the ‘purpose’ of using Determiners?

Sometimes, using just a Noun. – like – man,. pen,. Mercedes. – can be confusing,. because these names can be used for – any man,. any pen. and, any Mercedes,. then, how will others understand. – which man? which pen? and which Mercedes. are we talking about? – This is why we have Determiners!

The purpose of Determiners, is to – CLARIFY – ‘which particular individual’, we are talking about.

For example.

  • A, man.
  • This, pen.
  • My, Mercedes.

Determiners are also used to – CLARIFY – ‘how many’  or, ‘how much quantity’, of Nouns, we are talking about.

For example .

  • All, men.
  • Every, person.
  • Five, Mercedes.  Now, the question is –

Should we use a Determiner with every Noun?

The answer is – ‘NO’. Sometimes, there is no need to use any determiner, especially when there are no chances of confusion.

So, for clarification, let’s look at –

‘When ‘NOT-to-USE’ any Determiner’.

1. Do not use a Determiner, when you are referring to – ‘the complete category’, of certain people, places or things.

For example .

  • Indians, are, emotional people.
  • Books, are, the best source of learning.

Here, you are talking about – ‘all Indians‘, and, ‘all books‘ – as a complete category. – That’s why no Determiner is required.

2. Do not use a Determiner, when it is clear – ‘exactly – which person, place or thing’, you are talking about, and, when there is no need to clarify.

For example – .

  • Earth, is round.
  • She has gone to school.   

In these sentences, it is obvious that we are talking about our planet – ‘Earth‘; and ‘school‘ – is of course – the school that she studies in.     Now, lets talk about,

What is the correct way of using Determiners?

Determiners are ‘always’ used – before – their respective Nouns.

For example.

  • A – table .
  • The – project .
  • My – house .
  • Three – kids .