Determiners, like adjectives, are words that are used before a noun. But, while adjectives modify a noun, determiners specify the noun.
Determiners and Adjectives
Determiners introduce the noun by specifying, or quantifying it. They tell which one or how much. Determiners can be used only before a noun. In fact, they occur before the adjective or other words that modify the noun.
Adjectives provide extra information about the noun. They tell the quality of the noun and can occur before or after a noun.
Possessive adjectives (always used before nouns) are used to show who owns the noun.
■ Our papers have been marked.
Possessive pronoun are used in the place of a noun can be replaced with one.
■ Ours have been marked.
■ Papers have been marked.
A noun phrase can have more than one determiner.
■ All these carpets are for sale
■ Both my feet are hurting.
Determiners are positioned before the adjective and noun modifiers in a noun phrase.
■ the expensive gold ring
■ every little scrap of paper
Uses of Determiners
We cannot use all determiners with all kinds of nouns, though some can be used with all kinds of nouns.
The table below lists some determiners and their usage.
|a/an another each, |
either, every, neither, one
|With singular countable noun||a book|
|much, little, a little, less||with singular un countable noun||much love|
a little care
|both, many, few,|
a few, two, three, four
|with plural countable noun||both boys|
a few people
|all, any, some, enough||with plural uncountable noun|
and plural countable noun
all the children
|my, your, his, her, such, no, which,what, whose||with any kind of|
nouns – singular/plural: countable/uncountable
|this, that||singular un countable noun||this milk|
|these, those||plural noun||these shops|
little, a little, the little
We use little, a little, the little with uncountable nouns.
Little suggests almost nothing or not much.
A little suggests some or a small amount
The little suggests not much, but all of that is or was there,
■ There is little risk in gliding, so you can try it.
■ There is a little risk in water sports, so venture into it only with a lifeguard.
■ The little risk in water sports can be secured by using a life jacket.
We can use a little to modify adjectives or adverbs.
■ It is a little colder now.
■ Walk a little fast, please.
few, a few, the few
We use few, a few, the few with countable nouns.
Few suggests not many or almost none.
A few suggests some or a small number.
The few suggests not many, but all of that is or was there
■ Few people understand the value of healthy eating.
■ A few people consult dieticians.
■ The few people who eat healthy should also exercise.
A little and a few can be used as pronouns as well.
■ I have a few.
■ They do share a little.
In this Post, we have learnt that
■ determiners specify or quantify a noun, unlike adjectives that modify a noun;
■ a determiner is always used before a noun and cannot be removed from the sentence; and.
■ not all determiners can be used with all kinds of nouns.