Types of Determiners in English

By | September 30, 2020


The determiner is a word that determines the meaning of noun, it comes before a noun and gives information about it,

It determine the meaning of a noun in terms of following things  :

  • Making the meaning  of noun generic
  • Making the meaning  of noun specific
  • Mndicating the direction and number of noun
  • Showing the possession a person or a thing
  • Showing a number of noun

Examples :

  • Every person has a chance to do something big
  • I have a car
  • My dog is my best friend
  • Some people do not give up and these people never fail
  • This guy’s super rich. He has ten cars


There are six types of determiners :

  1. Articles

    Indefinite article : a, an (it makes the meaning of a noun eneric)

    example : an apple, a cat, a dog

    an apple a day keeps a doctor away

    Definite article   : the  (it makes the meaning of a noun specific)

    examples : the movie, the man

    the movie that we watched yesterday was awesome
    I watched a movie yesterday  and that was awesome
    I love the girls who’s wearing a red top


  • Impotant Point :

  • A determiner always comes before  a noun it modifies
  • A singular countable noun has to be modified with an appropriate determinerExamples :My father is a/the/your doctor
    My brother is an engineer
    I have a car
  • A determiner always comes before and adjective in a noun phrase
    ( Determiner + adjective + noun)

    Examples :

    A big boy
    Some amazing places
    Your beautiful wife

  1. Possessives (possessive adjectives)

    (my, your, his, her, their, our, its )

    possessive adjectives are used to show a possession of a noun.

    Examples :

    My goal to help people achieve their goals.
    She does not love her job

  2. Demonstratives (demonstrative adjectives)

    (this, that, these, those)

    Demonstratives determine a noun by showing its number and vicinity

    Examples :

    This guy is super talented
    I love that girl
    I love these girls
    I love those girls

  3. Quantifiers

    (any, some, few/a few/the few, many, a lot of, lots of, little/a little/the little, several)

    Examples :

    Some people never give up
    Many innocent people lost their lives in the riots happened last week
    I have some students to teach

    Quantifiers used with uncountable nouns : little, much, enough, a large, a mount

    Examples :

    I got little milk in my fridge
    She doesn’t not have much energy left to talk to you

  4. Numbers

    Cardinal Numbers :
    one, two three, four, five …

    Ordinal Numbers :
    First, Second, third, fourth, fifth …

    Examples :

    This series has eight episodes
    he’s got forty people working for him
    Life doesn’t give you a second chance
    This is my fifth interview this month

  1. Distributive Adjectives (distributives)

    (each, either, neither, all, both, every)

    Examples :

    Each girl deserves an award
    All people are capable to do evil things
    Neither girl is entering into the class

Multiple determiners in a noun phrase :

Structure of a noun phrase : Determiner + adjective + noun

Examples :

A beautiful lady
Some crazy people
These smart people

Articles/possessives/demonstratives + number + adjective + noun

Examples :

My four sisters
The four boys
These two boys