Determiner is a type of grammatical unit used to introduce noun or noun phrases. Often, it is placed before noun to give information about the noun mentioned. There are several types of determiners like, articles, demonstrative and personal pronouns, adjectives etc. To understand the functions of determiners in sentences, we need to go much deeper.
Meaning and functions of determiners
Determiner is a type of grammatical unit used to introduce noun or noun phrase. Besides, it is used to give information about the things mentioned. It clarifies the whereabouts of noun used in the phrase or sentence. But, determiners aren’t used after the noun or head.
1. Example of determiners in noun phrase
These people etc.
These are some examples showing the position and types of determiners in the noun phrase.
2. Placement of determiners in sentence
It is important to note that determines cannot be placed after noun (head) in the phrasal structure. It is used before noun or head of the noun phrase. But, in a single noun phrase, more than one determiners are possible. Here are possibilities of more than one determines in a single phrase.
3. Examples of positions of determiners
Pre – determiners + noun — a book.
Post determiners + noun.
Pre + post + noun — all the people.
Pre + central + noun.
Central + post + noun.
Pre + central + post + noun — all these little children.
Types of determiners in english grammar
Basically, there are two types of determiners –
But, in general, they are classified into several categories.
1. Articles — A, An, The
As we know that in english language, articles are used to determine the nature of noun whether it is
Singular or plural,
General or specific,
Definite or indefinite.
Generally, ‘a’ article is used to indicate singular or general state of things. Whereas, ‘the’ article is preferred to describe the specific nature of nouns. ‘An’ is used before vowels beginning nouns.
I know the bike is very expensive.
I want a bike to go college.
An apple, an elephant, an airplane etc.
Here is a list of other categories of determiners :–
2. Demonstrative adjectives as determiners
Demonstrative adjectives –
This and these are used for nearer things. Whereas, that and those are preferred for longer distance.
These animals, this animal,
That animal, those animals
3. Universal determiners — all, both.
4. Distributive determiners — each, every.
5. Existential determiners — some, away.
6. Cardinal determiners — one, two, three.
7. Disjunctive determiners — either, neither.
8. Degree determiners — many, much, few, little.
9. Sufficiency determiners — enough, sufficient, adequate.
10. Interrogative and relative determiners — which, what, that etc.
Apart from this, there are many more types of determiners like, pre-determiners, central determiners, and post determiners as per the placement of determiners in the phrasal structure.
- What a good idea
- All the situations
- All these little children
All this information is highly important in the formation of noun phrases. So, hope you will understand the functions of determiners in sentence in detail.