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Determiners

1. What is a determiner?

A determiner is a word that tells us which thing.

2. What are the determiners?

There are different types of determiners:
Articles (general vs. specific one): a, an, the
Demonstratives (which one): this, that, these, those
Possessive determiners (whose one): my, your, his, her, its, our, your
Quantifiers (how many): all, many, some, few, no

However, the basic idea remains: one word to tell people which thing.

DeterminersMeaningExample
a / anany one out of manyGive me a pencil. I don’t care which one.
thethe specific one that we know we are talking aboutI need the money I gave you last week.
thisthe specific one close to meI found this box outside my door.
thatthe specific one far from meCould you pass me that plate please?
theseseveral specific ones close to meThese oranges taste delicious.
thoseseveral specific ones far from meDon’t eat those apples. They are rotten.
my / your / his / her / its / our / theirthe one belonging to (me / you / him / her / it / us / them)Did you take my car?
all / many / some / few / noHe has all the students’ books.

3. Examples of determiners

He ate a pizza.
(any pizza; we don’t know which pizza)
He ate the pizza.
(the pizza we know about; we know which pizza)
This box is mine.
(the one box here)
That box is mine.
(the one box there)
These toys are broken.
(the collection of toys here)
Those toys are broken.
(the collection of toys there)
You kissed your girlfriend.
(the girlfriend who is yours)
You kissed my girlfriend.
(the girlfriend who is mine)
All dogs are stupid.
(every dog)
Some cats are stupid.
(not all, but some)
She took all the money.
(all of the money)
She took all his money.
(all the money which was his)

4. Test yourself

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