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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Submitted by Othon Dominguez on Tue, 08/10/2013 - 22:26

The exercises are very convenient, thanks a lot!

Submitted by LEXZY111 on Sat, 05/10/2013 - 13:44

Determiners,quantifiers and modifiers are Adjectives? or What is your on opinion?
Hello LEXZY111, Those are all different terms. Some modifiers are adjectives, but not all. Quantifiers and determiners are used with nouns, but they are considered separate groups, and you will find information about these groups separate from information about adjectives. I hope that clarifies it for you. Best wishes, Peter The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Shaho1991 on Thu, 15/08/2013 - 10:49



In Toefl grammer flash book it's written that any is used with plural count nouns and noncount nouns , but here is written with singular .

Hello Shaho1991,

You are correct that we use 'any' with plural count nouns when we are using it as a quantifier in questions and negatives:

'I don't have any books.' [meaning: not one]


However, this page is referring to a different use of 'any': as a determiner to mean 'all of those people or things'.  With this use, it is not possible to use 'any' with plural count nouns.  For example:

'Any person can do this.' [singular count noun, meaning: all] = correct

'Any time is good for me.' [uncount noun, meaning: all]

but we cannot say

'Any places are suitable for the meeting.' [plural count noun - not possible]

You can find more information on quantifiers, including 'any' here.


I hope that clarifies it for you.  Thank you for an interesting question.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by cheng sk on Mon, 05/08/2013 - 01:45



Would like to clarify this :

A flock of birds ( is / are ) flying in the sky.

Thank you!

Hi cheng sk,

The correct answer is the singular ('is flying') because we are talking about 'a flock' - one flock.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by medlycott on Sat, 11/05/2013 - 13:22



I am having problems identifying what the word in bold is in this sentence.

Eventually I understood this would only lead us to more trouble.

Is it a determiner or a pronoun in this case? Is it both? Can words sometimes be both?





Hello Medlycott!


Here, it's a pronoun, since it is the subject of the relative clause. It cannot be a determiner, since a determiner needs a noun:

Do you want this book? (determiner, to identify which book)

Do you want this? (pronoun - although the function is similar)


Both uses of this do similar things in the sentences - identify something when the context is clear - but grammatically they have different names and uses.




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by skylark on Wed, 01/05/2013 - 11:50



  • When we are talking about things in general and the listener/reader does not know exactly what we are referring to, we can use a uncount noun or a plural noun with no determiner:

The underlined word ' uncount' begins with a vowel 'u' then why 'a' comes with it.

My teacher once told me that an will come with those letters which begin with 'u' Please help me I am really confused.


Hello skylark!


That's our mistake - don't worry about it! I have corrected it now.




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ebenezer Son on Sun, 14/04/2013 - 15:49

Hi teachers I am in a quandary. I have learnt here that DETERMINERS are wods that come at the beginning of a NOUN PHRASE but I am afraid that in one of the example sentences above is not a reflection of that, see below: - A woman was lifted to safty by a helicopter. I could observe, WOMAN alone cannot be a phrase. If I am wrong, please correct. Thanks. :-)

Hello Ebenezer!


Why do you think Woman is not a noun phrase? It could be! Take a look at our page on Noun Phrases for more information - the sentence is correct.




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

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Is it possible to see the hours that I spend here?

                                                           Please answer my question

Hello Zoje10!


I'm afraid that's just not possible at the moment. You can see how long since you joined the site, though - click on 'My account' and you'll find the information on that page.


Sorry I can't help more, but enjoy your time on the site!




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by dajana10 on Fri, 01/03/2013 - 14:18


I can't write something bed for you,because I don't have one. You are helping me,but I wont to ask for a thing.Are my points going to be signed in my adress for better?                             


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Hello Dajana,

No, we don't store the points you get in exercises anywhere. You can do the exercises as many times as you want and get better scores each time. If you want, you can store them on your computer or on paper.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kalua selemani on Mon, 18/02/2013 - 10:18


Hi Adam JK

I have been faced with a problem particularly the uses of pronoun  I .

Can you tell me  why " I" as a pronoun is used in past continuous tense with auxiliary verb " was" while in present perfect tense is used with auxiliary verb  "have"

example I was playing football

example I have gone to school

if you don't understand my question let me simplify it why pronoun I is not included in third person singular  pronouns?

Submitted by ثمين samin on Sat, 09/02/2013 - 10:44

Hi hashmi, I'm samin from persia. I have same problme in iran but situation is really worse than india, for e.g. you have schools which students all have their lessons in english but here in iran its illegal and we only have lessons in persian, so its a big challange for iranian guys to escape from goverment forces and make themselves up to date. However we have so many institute which teach english but still we feel vacuity in this way... any way good luck for you

I can't agree less samin, despite all suppression, we still have some professional institute with great atmosphere and learned teachers.

Submitted by melisa90 on Sun, 27/01/2013 - 08:20


hello everybody my name is melisa.I am new here .I am studying grammar for toefl test. can you give some tips for toefl test?? thank you.

Hi Melisa!

Welcome to LearnEnglish! If you're getting ready for a test, then I'm sure our grammar pages will provide some help. However, we're not a TOEFL site, I'm afraid - we can't really help with specific tips for that test.

Good luck, anyway!




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Hashmi on Sun, 23/12/2012 - 16:25


Hi.Adam JK.Wish you a very Happy Christmas to you and your family.

I am very grateful that British Council is helping learners to improve their English with the help of  this website.I have one question regarding my English speaking.Whenever I asked by someone, especially in interview to speak on a particular topic,after speaking for four or five sentence,I got stuck after that.I don't know why this is happening to me.Is it because of nervousness or anxiety  or may be I have to improve my speaking skills.How should I improve my English speaking?

Hi Hashmi,

Thanks for the kind wishes. I hope you have a great Christmas, too.

It's hard for me to say exactly why you have this problem, as I don't know you! Have you tried practising this type of speaking on your own? Do you still get stuck about five sentences if you are speaking to the mirror or to a friend? That should help you discover if it is anxiety or whether you have a different problem.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot Adam .

Actually I really never tried to speak in English in front of mirror.I think your suggestion gonna help me.It happens only when I am asked to speak in English.May be I have to improve my English speaking,but unfortunately I don't have  environment surrounded by English speakers. 

Hi Hashmi.

me too i have this problem & i think that it must speaking English a lot with someone;

can you help me Hashmi.can you speak with me & can you give me some of your time .

Yeah why not.This gonna help our English speaking skills .But how  it could be possible my friend choaib.Have you liked the facebook page of LearnEnglish – British Council?

Hello Hashmi!


Adam's away, so let me see if I can help!


The most important thing is to practice your fluency. You don't have to talk to a native speaker though – try your friends and colleagues, or go to a class. Even, if you can't do that, try recording yourself using your computer or an online recorder like If you're going for interview, try to guess some of the questions in advance, and think about your answers. You can practice before the interview!


The second important thing is your attitude. Don't worry about mistakes, but focus on speaking. My students often ask me how to work on fluency, and I recommend that they make some classes or practice sessions about fluency, not accuracy. Instead of trying to get things perfect, they focus on trying to speak fluently. In other sessions, we go back to working on accuracy. Don't try to practice everything (fluency, grammar, pronunciation) at once.


Specifically for interview questions, remember that everyone is nervous in interviews. 4 or 5 sentences sounds pretty good if you don't know the questions before, and most interviewers will ask you extra questions to help out.


Hope that helps!


Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

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