Articles, Determiners and Quantifiers





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Articles, Determiners and Quantifiers :


Principles of Choosing an Article & a Determiner :



Briefly defined, a determiner is a noun-marker. When you see one, you know that what follows is a noun or noun phrase. There is a list of such words in the table below.

Zero article means either that no article would be appropriate with that kind of noun or that that kind of noun can be used (in that context) without an article.



A :


Use With ...

Singular Count Nouns beginning with non-vowel sound.

Example :

a bottle, a history book, a UFO, a one-time event, a uniform, a unicorn, a union, a European, ...


An :


Use With ...

Singular Count Nouns beginning with vowel sound.

Example :



an apple, an easel, an earful, an honor, an hour, an X-ray, an FBI agent, an SAT score, ...


The :


Use With ...

Singular and Plural Count Nouns and Noncount Nouns.

Example :

all the students, half the faculty, both the students, twice the trouble, one-third of the time, ...


Zero Article :


Use With ...

Plural Count Nouns and Noncount nouns.

Example :

  • Sticks and stones will break my bones.


  • We moved furniture today.



  • This and That :


    Use With ...

    Singular Count Nouns and Noncount Nouns.

    Example :

    this dog, that furniture, this boy, that school, ...


    These and those :


    Use With ...

    Plural Count Nouns.

    Example :

    these dogs, those schools, these boys, those girls ...


    Each and every :


    Use With ...

    Singular Count Nouns.

    Example :

    each boy, every girl, each nation, every country, each member, every member ...


    Either and neither :


    Use With ...

    Plural Count Nouns.

    Example :

  • Either boy is smart.


  • Neither boy is smart.



  • Much :


    Use With ...

    Noncount Nouns

    Example :



    too much furniture, much warmth, much wine,...


    Enough :


    Use With ...

    Plural Count Nouns, Noncount Nouns

    Example :

    That is enough bottle.
    We have enough furniture.
    We have had enough troubles.


    Which and What :


    Use With ...

    Singular and Plural Count Nouns, Noncount Nouns

    Example :

    Which bottle should I use?
    What experience do you have in mind?
    Fingerprints? What fingerprints?


    Possessives :


    Use With ...

    Singular and Plural Count Nouns, Noncount Nouns

    Example :

    my car, my furniture, our car, their experience, her wine, my books, its leg, his pen, ...


    Any and Some ( stressed ) :


    Use With ...

    Singular and Plural Count Nouns, Noncount Nouns

    Example :

    Isn't there any warmth in this house?
    Are not there some new houses in this town?


    Any and Some ( unstressed ) :


    Use With ...

    Plural Count Nouns, Noncount Nouns

    Example :



    Gather some sticks for the fire?
    Their house did not have any furniture.

    Notice that there is a difference between a
    stressed some or any and an unstressed some or any. Consider the words in ALL CAPS as shouted words and you will hear the difference between these two:

  • That is SOME car you've got there!

  • I don't want to hear ANY excuse!


  • As opposed to. . .

  • We have some cars left in the lot.

  • Isn't there any furniture in the living room?


  • In terms of the words they usually modify, the
    unstressed some and any do not modify singular count nouns.


    Related Links :

  • Quantifiers


  • Predeterminers


  • Articles


  • Zero Articles


  • Principles of Choosing Article and Predeterminer








  • English Glossary Index




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