Unit 11. Determiners
- Determiners are used at the beginning of noun groups.
- You use specific determiners when people know exactly which things or people you are talking about.
- You use general determiners to talk about people or things without saying exactly who or what they are.
1. When you use a determiner, you put it at the beginning of a noun group, in front of numbers or adjectives.
I met the two Swedish girls in London.
Our main bedroom is through that door.
Have you got another red card?
Several young boys were waiting outside.
2. When the people or things that you are talking about have already been mentioned, or the people you are talking to know exactly which ones you mean, you use a specific determiner.
The man began to run towards the boy.
Young people don't like these operas.
Her face was very red.
The specific determiners are:
Note that "your" is used both for the singular and plural possessive.
See Unit 8 for "this", "that", "these", and "those" as pronouns.
3. When you are mentioning people or things for the first time, or talking about them generally without saying exactly which ones you mean, you use a general determiner.
There was a man in the lift.
We went to an art exhibition.
You can stop at any time you like.
There were several reasons for this.
The general determiners are:
4. Each general determiner is used with particular types of noun. You use some general determiners with:
- singular count nouns
I got a postcard from Susan.
Any big tin container will do.
He opened another shop last month.
- plural count nouns
There were few doctors available.
He spoke many different languages.
Several projects had to be postponed.
- uncount nouns
There was little applause.
We need more information.
He did not speak much English.
WARNING: The following general determiners can never be used with uncount nouns.
5. Most of the determiners are also pronouns, except "the", "a", "an", "every", "no" and the possessives.
I saw several in the woods last night.
Have you got any that I could borrow?
There is enough for all of us.
You use "one" as a pronoun instead of "a" or "an", "none" instead of "no", and "each" instead of "every"
Have you got one?
There are none left.
Each has a separate box and number.