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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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Comments

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

Hello Abhishek Singh

I would say that yes, it is correct, though I expect others would argue that 'an' is better.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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

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

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

Hello Abhishek Singh

Yes, that is correct -- some linguists consider quantifiers to be a kind of determiner.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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 .

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

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