Saturday, July 9, 2011

Determiners

‘Determiner’ is a general term for words which are used before nouns to show which person or thing is being referred to. Determiners of quantity are used to describe how much or little of something there is.

a complete amount
a large amount

a small amount
zero amount
all
many
enough
a few
no
every
much

few
neither
each
most

several

both


a little




little


The following determiners must only be used with countable nouns in the plural:

We don’t get many tourists here.          We get several letters a week.
Hold on with both hands.                     I take fewer trips abroad these days.
We’ve invited a few friends to dinner.    So few people attended.

Note: Fewhas a negative meaning, and means ‘almost no’. A few has a positive meaning and means ‘some’.

The following determiners must only be used with uncountable nouns:

Will it take much time?                        I had less money than I thought.
Add a little salt.                                   We get so little light in this room.

Note: Little has a negative meaning, and means ‘almost no’. A little has a positive meaning and means ‘some’.

The following determiners can be used with countable nouns in the plural and with uncountable nouns:
 
Kim’s got more bags than me.                   Kim’s got more luggage than me.
Most items of jewellery are made from gold.  Most gold is used to make                                                                         jewellery.
All children should receive education.           All meat is rich in protein.
Do you have enough clothes?                     We don’t have enough furniture.
He left no instructions.                              There’s no ice in the fridge.

The following determiners must be used with singular countable nouns:

He checked each document carefully.            Every child needs affection.

If you follow one determiner with another determiner (such as the or this) you usually put of between them.

Take some bread.                                        Take some of the bread.

Every and no cannot be used with of. Every one of or none of is used instead.

Every tree is marked with a cross           Every one of the young trees                                                           is marked with a cross.
We have no accurate information.           None of this information is accurate.

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