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Determiners and quantifiers


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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A friend asked: is the statement "what did James is wrong" correct or grammatically wrong?

Hello Akong,

The sentence is wrong. The correct sentence would be as follows:

What James did is wrong.




The LearnEnglish Team


Which of these sentences is correct

1 "What John did is wrong"
2 "What John did was wrong"

Then sir, in the correct sentence, does "what" serve as DEMONSTRATIVE or INTEROGATIVE determiner?

Hi Akong,

Both are correct and the structure of both is that of a wh-cleft sentence. 'what' acts as a kind of pronoun here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

I am confused with the use of nouns in the following sentence:

1. The German or The Germans are patriot.

Which one is correct?

Thanks in advance.

Hello amol,

The Germans are patriots is the correct option.



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sirs,
Please have a look at these two sentences:

1. The girls sitting over there are my cousins.
2. Girls sitting over there are my cousins.

I know the first sentence is grammatically correct but I can't explain why sentence 2 is incorrect. Let's say, my listener (say my friend) is hearing it from me for the first time. In this situation, he does not know the specific or definite girls. I tend to believe that this situation calls for a zero article (I am confused if I have to say zero article or a zero article). How does the meaning change if I use sentence 2 or it would be patently wrong? I would be grateful if you could provide me with some clues about how to think about this issue. Reading grammar books is not helping me much in this matter!

Thanks in advance!

Hello cbenglish,

We use the definite article (the) when the noun is known and/or identified; in other words, when a specific item is referred to and not just any item or all items in general.

In your sentence the item is specified. You are not just talking about any girls, but about the specific girls who are sitting over there. Therefore the definite article is needed and the sentence without 'the' is incorrect.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,

Why do you say "...referred to" and not just "...referred". Thanks so much!

Hello Ivánnn,

The verb 'refer' always occurs with the preposition 'to'. It is what we call a dependent preposition.

You can read more about these on this page.



The LearnEnglish Team