The Determiners and the English Nouns

Determiners are words or phrases that come before a noun to provide additional information or context. They help specify the reference of the noun and can indicate things like quantity, definiteness, possession, or demonstrative reference. Here are some common types of determiners, along with examples:


Definite Article: the (e.g., the cat, the house)

The articles have no meaning and refer to an object spoken about:

There is a lamp on the table; the article clarifies the table in the given place.

The director has just come—the article clarifies the director in the given office.


Indefinite Articles: a or an (e.g., a dog, an apple)

There is an apple on the plate.



This/These: used for objects near the speaker (e.g., this book, these chairs)

That/Those: used for objects away from the speaker (e.g., that car, those trees).

This house is very big. I’ll take these pencils.



My, your, his, her, its, our, and their (e.g., my car, your house)

Where is my pen?

His dictionary is on the desk.



Some, any, many, few, several, all (e.g., some books, many friends)

I have many friends.



One, two, three, etc. (e.g., one cat, three birds)

Three birds are sitting on a bush.



Which, what (e.g., which book, what time)

Whose pen is on the table?

On which floor do you live?

What books have you read?


Indefinite pronouns:

(e.g., each student, some people)

Some people start using tobacco.



Some of, a piece of, a lot of, a bit of (e.g., a piece of cake, a lot of money)

It is a piece of cake for me.


The determiners come before the words that they determine. If there are other words determining the noun, they stand between a determiner and a noun.

Stephen Foster shaped the American music canon.

Her first scientific work was a great success.


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