Determiners

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

Determiners are words like a, my, this, those, each, either, some, few, all and both. They come at the beginning of noun phrases, but they are not adjectives.

a new book
every week
some rice
enough trouble
my mother

English grammar recognises two main groups of determiners - Group A and Group B.

Group A determiners

Articles, demonstratives and possessives are often called Group A determiners. They help to identify things.

Articles - a, an, the
Demonstratives - this, that, these, those
Possessives - my, our, your, their, her, his, its, one's, whose

Two Group A determiners cannot be put together. We can say my car, this car or the car, but not the my car, this my car or my this car.

If we have to put two Group A determiners together, we use the structure a/this + noun + of mine/yours.

Group B Determiners

Most of them indicate something about quantity.

Examples are:

We can put two Group B determiners together, if the combination makes sense.

Group B + Group A

Group B determiners can be used directly before nouns without of.

But if we want to put a Group B determiner before a noun with a Group A determiner, we have to use of.

Compare:

Points to be noted

We can leave out of after all, both and half when they are followed by nouns.

But note that we cannot leave out of when all, both and half are followed by pronouns.

No and every are not used before of; instead we use none and every one.

Group A + Group B

Certain Group B determiners can be used after Group A determiners. They are: many, most, least, little and few.

Sections in this article

Pronouns
Kinds of pronouns
Personal pronouns
Possessive pronouns
Reflexive pronouns
Demonstrative pronouns
Relative pronouns
Correct usage of personal pronouns