Kinds of determiners

There are different kinds of determiners.

Articles – a, an, the

Possessive pronouns – his, yours, theirs, ours, whose etc.

Numbers – one, two, three etc.

Indefinite pronouns – few, more, each, every, either, all, both, some, any etc.

Demonstrative pronouns – this, that, these, those, such

Some Notes on Quantifiers

Just like articles, quantifiers are words that precede and modify nouns.

They tell us how much or how many. Choosing the correct quantifier depends upon your understanding of the difference between countable and uncountable nouns.

Quantifiers that can be used with countable nouns are: many, few, a few, several, a couple of, none

Many students

Few children

A few girls

Several children

A couple of days

None of the boys

The following quantifiers are used with non-countable nouns: much, little, a bit of, a good deal of, great deal of, no

Not much writing

A bit of writing

A little writing

A good deal of writing

A great deal of writing

Some quantifiers can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. Examples are: some, all, most, enough, a lot of, lots of, plenty of, a lack of

In formal academic writing, avoid phrases such as a lot of, lots of and plenty of. Instead, you can use much and many.

There is an important difference between a little and little and between a few and few.

Consider the examples given below.

Merlin has a little experience in graphics designing. (= Merlin is no expert graphics designer; however, she does have some experience in graphics designing and that should be enough for our purposes.

Merlin has little experience in graphics designing. (= Merlin doesn’t have enough experience. We had better find somebody else.)

My sister has written a few books on child psychology. (= She has written some books – not a lot of books)

I have read few books on Indian mythology. (= I haven’t read enough books on Indian mythology.)