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DETERMINERS


  • Determiners are used at the beginning of noun groups.
  • We use specific determiners when people know exactly which things or people you are talking about.
  • We use general determiners to talk about people or things without saying exactly who or what they are.
  • 1. When we use a determiner, we put it at the beginning of a noun group, in front of numbers or adjectives.

    I met the two Swedish girls in London.

    Our main bedroom is through that door.

    Have you got another red card?

    Several young boys were waiting outside.

    2. When the people or things that you are talking about have already been mentioned, or the people you are talking to know exactly which ones you mean, you use a specific determiner.

    The man began to run towards the boy.

    Young people don't like these operas.

    Her face was very red.

    The specific determiners are:

    the definite article: the
    demonstratives: this that these those
    possessives: my your his her its our their

    Note that "your" is used both for the singular and plural possessive.

    3. When you are mentioning people or things for the first time, or talking about them generally without saying exactly which ones you mean, you use a general determiner.

    There was a man in the lift.

    We went to an art exhibition.

    You can stop at any time you like.

    There were several reasons for this.

    The general determiners are:

    a
    all
    an
    another
    any
    both
    each
    either
    enough
    every
    few
    fewer
    less
    little
    many
    more
    most
    much
    neither
    no
    other
    several
    some
     
     

    4. Each general determiner is used with particular types of noun. You use some general determiners with:

    • singular count nouns
    a
    an
    another
    any
    each
    either
    every
    neither
    no
     

    I got a postcard from Susan.

    Any big tin container will do.

    He opened another shop last month.

    • plural count nouns
    all
    any
    both
    enough
    few
    fever
    many
    more
    most
    no
    other
    several
    some
     
     

    There were few doctors available.

    He spoke many different languages.

    Several projects had to be postponed.

    • uncount nouns
    all
    any
    enough
    less
    little
    more
    most
    much
    no
    some

    There was little applause.

    We need more information.

    He did not speak much English.

    WARNING: The following general determiners can never be used with uncount nouns.

    a
    an
    another
    both
    each
    either
    every
    few
    many
    neither
    several
     

    5. Most of the determiners are also pronouns, except "the", "a", "an", "every", "no" and the possessives.

    I saw several in the woods last night.

    Have you got any that I could borrow?

    There is enough for all of us.

    You use "one" as a pronoun instead of "a" or "an", "none" instead of "no", and "each" instead of "every"

    Have you got one?

    There are none left.

    Each has a separate box and number.


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