Determiners and quantifiers

Determiners and quantifiers

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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Average: 4 (86 votes)
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 17:51

In reply to by Progress

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Hello Progress,

1 is not correct and 2 is correct. Being a heroine is not exactly a profession, but we use 'a' before a person's profession (for example, 'I am a teacher', 'She is a pastor', etc.).

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by p t balagopal on Thu, 25/06/2020 - 05:35

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Sir, Is it correct to replace "the" with "a "before 'sum' in the following sentence? " She was paid the sum of Rupees 50,000 for that book on Indian history" Kindly explain.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Thu, 25/06/2020 - 07:36

In reply to by p t balagopal

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Hello p t balagopal,

Yes, you can use either a or the here. When we give a concrete figure in a context like this we can use either the definite or indefinite article.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Timmy Ferrer on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 01:38

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Hello, may i ask for your help in clarifying these ones: 1. Which is correct, "a", "the", or "both"? "When I see people ignoring (a/the) speech of a politician near a station, I always wonder what they are thinking." 2. If you use a plural noun, for example "statesmen"/"politicians", should it be "speeches"? "When I see people walking without listening to statesmen giving (a speech/speeches) near a station, I always wonder how they're feeling." Thank you in advance!

Hello Timmy Ferrer

You could use all of the options that you mention in those sentences, though they would mean different things. For example, in 1, if you said 'a speech', I would understand it to mean the formal talk (see the second meaning) that the politician is giving. If you said 'the speech', there are two possibilities. It could also refer the formal talk she is giving, but which has already been mentioned in some way. Or 'speech' could refer to the way she speaks (under the first meaning).

Hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Michaelgeorge on Thu, 13/02/2020 - 03:59

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Hello sir, In this sentence below I need some more sugar. Here, are some and more determiners? If they are determiners can we use two quantity determiners together or Is more a adjective? Thanks in advance
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Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 14/02/2020 - 07:24

In reply to by Michaelgeorge

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Hello Michaelgeorge,

The category of determiners is a large one and includes phrases such as a lot of and a great number of as well as single words. I would treat some more as a phrase rather than trying to break it down further.

 

More generally speaking, it's quite possible to use several determiners together. Possessive adjectives and numbers commonly co-occur. In the phrase my four dogs both the possessive adjective my and the number twelve are determiners.

 

The distinctions between determiner and adjective are sometimes debated and the categorisation is somewhat fluid. You can read a discussion on the topic here:

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/166474/is-a-determiner-considered-an-adjective-or-a-separate-part

 

 

Our focus on LearnEnglish is language learning rather than linguistics, so parsing sentences is not something we tend to provide help with. There are online parsers if you need to break down individual sentences:

https://www.link.cs.cmu.edu/link/submit-sentence-4.html

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi peter, Thanks,Can I refer them( some more) as post determiners because I read somewhere that we can use cardinals and ordinal numbers and quantifiers together and they can occur. What do you say peter
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sat, 15/02/2020 - 07:01

In reply to by Michaelgeorge

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Hi Michaelgeorge,

Sometimes distinctions are made between predeterminers and postdeterminers, as you say, and you can certainly use them if you find them helpful.

Our focus on the site is really on language learning (learning to use the language) rather than learning about the language (linguistics), so the question really falls outside our area of interest.

If you need help with things like this then the relevant stackexchange forums are a good place to look.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by p t balagopal on Fri, 24/01/2020 - 07:12

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Hi, Could I add the definite article before "claims" in the following sentence ? " The students' union rejected claims that it may change its position ". I think the definite article should be there as the that-clause following 'claims' makes it necessary. Kindly explain .
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Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 24/01/2020 - 08:35

In reply to by p t balagopal

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Hello p t balagopal,

Both forms (with 'the' and without) are possible.

The choice depends upon whether the speaker thinks that the claims are already known to the listener or not. The definite article implies shared knowledge, so if I say 'the claims' then I am suggesting that you (the listener) knows which claims I am talking about. If I say 'claims' then I am assuming that this is the first time you have heard about the subject.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by p t balagopal on Sun, 17/11/2019 - 11:39

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Sir, Can I use the definite article before ' sum' in the following sentence which I wrote in a letter while forwarding a bank draft to a higher office. " A sum of Rs. 10000 towards the rent of the office ----- building is sent herewith ."
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Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 18/11/2019 - 07:09

In reply to by p t balagopal

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Hello p t balagopal,

It's difficult to be certain about article use without knowing the full context, but I think that both 'a' and 'the' would be possible here.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by p t balagopal on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 16:55

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Hi, I wrote the following sentence while forwarding an application to the higher office. "Please find enclosed the application from Mr. John for the revival of ----- ------- his account no .xxxxx. " If I use the indefinite article before 'application' ,will there be any difference? Could I drop 'the ' before ' revival '? As the word is followed by an of-phrase, is it not mandatory?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 12/11/2019 - 07:41

In reply to by p t balagopal

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Hello p t balagopal,

The definite article before 'application' is appropriate here as you are talking about a specific application. An application would suggest that you have many applications from Mr. John for the revival of his account, and this is only one of them, which would be rather absurd.

In the second case, I think 'the' is also required. The account to be revived is specified and so the definite article is appropriate. It is the case that some companies have their own in-house preferences and treat some business functions as if they were abstract nouns in terms of article use, but this is unusual.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by anie1 on Sun, 10/11/2019 - 16:11

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Hello, I would like to ask which of the following is correct 1.The house has got a lot of windows or 2. The house has got many windows? Thank you in advance

Submitted by beckysyto on Sat, 02/11/2019 - 12:39

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Hi. I have doubt about using "there is" and "there are" in certain contexts. (1) There is a man and a woman. (2) There are a man and a woman. Which of the above sentences is / are correct? (3) There is a cow and three pigs. (4) There are a cow and three pigs. (5) There are three pigs and a cow. Which of the above sentences is / are correct? Does "there is / are" agree with the first noun phrase in a sentence? Do native speakers follow the same rule? Thanks a lot.
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sat, 02/11/2019 - 18:37

In reply to by beckysyto

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Hello beckysyto

In informal speaking, it's common for 'there is' to be used with a plural noun or singular noun and plural noun combination, so, for example, 3 is more common in speaking than 4. When, however, the first noun phrase is plural (as in 5), then 'there are' is more commonly used.

So, to answer your question whether 'there is/are' agrees with the first noun phrase in the sentence, the answer is yes, at least in informal speaking.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by anie1 on Tue, 22/10/2019 - 16:57

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Hello I would like to ask which of the following is correct 1.The person I admire most is my grandmother or 2.The person I admire the most is my grandmother Thank you in advance

Hello agie,

Both forms are correct and there is no difference in meaning.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by anie1 on Fri, 04/10/2019 - 13:53

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Hello, I would like to ask which of the following is correct 1. I will call you tomorrow at 10?OR 2. I will call you tomorrow at 10 am? Thank you in advance
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 07:52

In reply to by anie1

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Hello agie

Both are grammatically correct. If it's clear that you're talking about the morning, then 1 is probably sufficiently clear.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Vitub on Fri, 16/08/2019 - 04:04

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Hello, I'd like to ask you about that, is that really a comma can be omitted in these case which are showed below? "When Kim's passenger Andy finds something . . ." IS NEEDED a COMMA after PASSENGER i.e. it should be looked like "When Kim's passenger, Andy finds something . . ." 2 "Mark Miles and his son Andy are . . ." I think it is correct according the source above Please check it thank you
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 19/08/2019 - 20:15

In reply to by Vitub

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Hello Vitub

I'm afraid I don't know enough about either sentence to be able to know what they mean, so I can't really explain them or offer any other recommendations about them. If you include the full sentence, we might be able to help you more, but please note that in general we don't explain sentences that come from other texts unless you have a very specific question about them.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mark on Thu, 12/09/2019 - 14:52

In reply to by Vitub

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A comma shouldn't be used after passenger because "Andy" is specifying who the passenger is; it's a subordinating clause.
NB Apologies, I misread the sentence of your first example, "When Kim's passenger Andy finds something" Andy needs to be enclosed in commas because it's a parenthesis in apposition (identifies or gives more information about the noun that preceds it). Correct punctuation - "When Kim's passenger, Andy," Your second example, "Mark Miles and his son Andy are" doesn't need amended - a comma isn't required because "and" is acting as a coordinating conjunction connecting two nouns (Mark and Andy).

Submitted by Sooraj on Thu, 18/07/2019 - 08:09

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Hi, Please advise which is the most appropriate usage & explain the reason. 1. It is my pleasure to inviting you all for today's dinner. 2. it is my pleasure of inviting you all for today's dinner.

Hello Sooraj

The form I would recommend here is 'to invite all of you'; the other two options are not correct in standard British English.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

The two examples you gave both have the wrong grammatical aspect; they are written in present progressive of the verb 'to invite' (with the added error "to" & "of" preceding it.) "It's a pleasure to invite you all for today's dinner." - This is the present simple aspect

Submitted by tshantanu0 on Tue, 18/06/2019 - 16:53

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e.g. - she is the same girl who sang beautifully at the concert yesterday. OR she is the same girl that sang beautifully at the concert yesterday. which one is correct? I've heard after all, same, everyone,etc. "that" is used.

Hello tshantanu0,

The structure here is a defining relative clause and you can use either 'who' or 'that' as the relative pronoun here - it makes no difference. I'm not aware of any rule which says 'that' needs to be used after those words.

You can read more about relative clauses on these pages:

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ataur Rahman on Sun, 31/03/2019 - 06:12

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Can the Partitive Nouns or Group Nouns followed by 'of' be used as Determiners?
Hello Atuar Rahman, I think it will be easier to answer your question if you provide concrete examples of what you have in mind. Please provide some and we'll be happy to answer. Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by cbenglish on Fri, 22/03/2019 - 00:31

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Dear sirs, This is the first sentence of a paragraph on writing tips: "It’s important to keep one person per dialogue so you do not confuse the reader." Why does this sentence use "the reader?" Could I say readers or the readers in the place of the reader? How does the meaning of the sentence change? I struggle to identify whether "the reader" is a definite or indefinite noun. On the one hand, it appears a definite noun since the reader means your reader; in this case, isn't a plural form ("the readers") more appropriate? On the other hand, it appears as readers in general. In this case, should not we use simply readers, not "the reader" as the sentence does. Many thanks.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 22/03/2019 - 07:19

In reply to by cbenglish

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Hello cbenglish, The definite article is used here because the speaker is referring to a particular, if imagined, reader: > the reader who is reading your text Other forms are also possible, depending on how the speaker imagines the situation: > ...the reader (a person who is reading your text) > ...the readers (a group of people who are reading your text) > ...readers (any people who may read your text) Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abhimanyu Hannah on Mon, 11/03/2019 - 11:38

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Hi Team, I wanted to know if there are any reasons/logic behind commission and omission of article 'The'. Could you also help me understand the difference between - On call and In call; Logged in and logged on. Thanks,
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 11/03/2019 - 14:45

In reply to by Abhimanyu Hannah

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Hello Abhimanyu Hannah

Yes, there's quite a lot behind the use or omission of articles, but I'm afraid it's not something that can be explained in a few short sentences. I'd recommend you work through the pages in this section, as well as read through our Articles 1 and 2 pages. If you have a specific question after that, please feel to ask it here.

Most people don't differentiate between 'log in' and 'log on', though there is a difference. You can read about it in the Difference.wiki or by doing an internet search for 'difference between login and logon'.

When someone is 'on call', they are available to work, but you must call them to ask them to work. This is typical for doctors and IT technicians, among others. I'm not familiar with 'in call', though you can be 'in a call', i.e. you are on the phone at that time and are not available to speak to someone else.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Inqilab on Fri, 08/03/2019 - 23:47

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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]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by cbenglish on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 03:56

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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.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 06:12

In reply to by cbenglish

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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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by dipakrgandhi on Mon, 21/01/2019 - 06:05

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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

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by cbenglish on Fri, 04/01/2019 - 05:25

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Dear Sirs, I wrote the following very first sentence: "In a recent study, nearly half of Indians surveyed said they had experienced online abuse." My confusion is whether I have to use the definite article before Indians:...nearly half of the Indians surveyed..." I feel like once I have used "half of" a plural noun [Indians in the sentence]," I have to use the definite article the. Thanks.