Determiners and quantifiers are words we use in front of nouns. We use determiners to identify things (this book, my sister) and we use quantifiers to say how much or how many (a few people, a lot of problems).

Read clear grammar explanations and example sentences to help you understand how determiners and quantifiers are used. Then, put your grammar knowledge into practice by doing the exercises.  

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Thanks, Kirk.

About article 'The'. I wanted to understand that is there any reason that why do we use 'the' in the following scenarios:
1. The Dal Lake; but omit 'the' when the name of a lake starts with the word Lake - Lake Michigan
2. How did we come to conclusion that we need to commit 'the' before the names of rivers, seas, deserts, mountain ranges but not in front of a Mt. peak.

I'm trying to find out if there's any reason to it or are they just rules which came into existence over a period of time.


Hello Abhimanyu Hannah
As far as I know, it is not correct to say 'The Dal Lake' -- instead, it should be 'Dal Lake'. That is what I see in the Wikipedia, for example (
As for the irregular use of 'the' before geoforms, I honestly don't really know. An expert in historical linguistics might be able to tell you more about this, but I'm afraid I don't know enough about this topic to say anything with any authority. I usually think of it as something that has developed through use over the time -- this is how most linguistic forms come about, ultimately.
Best wishes
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks, Kirk.

I'll try to check the city library for any reference. :)

I wrote, "The Dal lake" because we were taught that whenever the name of a lake precedes the word lake we commit 'the' and vice-versa.


Is the Class going to be held,,,? Why Hold can't be used here while we are using present continuous tense

Hello Inqilab,

The sentence has going to, which is a present continuous form as you say. However, it is followed by a passive form: a passive infinitive (to be held). Passive forms require the past participle, so held is used instead of hold.

Here's another example:

Peter is going to cook a cake. [to cook = an infinitive]

The cake is going to be cooked. [to be cooked = a passive infinitive]



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sirs,

I have this sentence: "When our life plans fall apart, sadness naturally occurs. It’s the sign of a tender heart."

My question is about the second sentence. Should I use "...the sign of..." or "...a sign of..."? Or both would be correct? My thinking is that I should not be using the since there are other signs of a tender heart. But I also feel like using the definite article, it gives an emphasis to the fact that it is a major or important sign. Am I right in my reasoning?

As always, thank you and I appreciate your help.

Hello cbenglish,

Both 'a' and 'the' are possible.

If you use 'a' then we understand that there are a number of signs of a tender heart and this is one of them. If you use 'the' then you are suggesting that only one thing shows a tender heart.



The LearnEnglish Team

These are the sentences from a reputed financial daily :

An SIP cannot give good or bad returns. Returns depend on the performance of the scheme you invest in.

And in the next paragraph :

“Investors should remember why they started a SIP in the first place. SIPs inculcate discipline that is crucial for investors to achieve long-term goals,” says Kunal Bajaj.

Here SIP means systematic investment plan.

In the first paragraph it says ' An SIP " and in the next paragraph it says " ... a SIP. " What do I undrestand from it ?

Hello dipakrgandhi

You have keen eyes! Good job spotting this inconsistency. To determine whether to use 'a' or 'an', you have to think how a word (in this case, an initialism) is pronounced -- as far as I know, 'SIP' is pronounced 'ess ai pee' and not 'sip'. In this case, as you can see from my transliteration of the pronunciation, the word begins with a vowel sound (the letter 'e' that is underlined). Therefore, 'an' would be the correct form.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you.

I would also go for ' an ' only and not ' a ' . But as 'a' has also been used so I wanted a confirmation from you.