Grammar byte: What’s a determiner?

Determiners are words that express information about a noun such as definiteness, proximity, relationships and quantity. They typically come before nouns.


They are different than adverbs, which describe the qualities of a nouns.

They are different than adjectives which describe nouns independently of the speaker. For example, a green sweater is always a green sweater.

However, to say “this sweater” or “my sweater” determines the context of the green sweater relative to the speaker.

Six types of determiners

  1. Articles: A dog is sitting on the couch. (See Articles: The and A)
  2. Possessive determiners: My house is your house.
  3. Demonstrative determiners: This puppy ate that shoe.
  4. Interrogative determiners: Which one goes in what box?
  5. Numerals: Two thieves stole a dozen cars.
  6. Quantifiers: Many students do all of their homework after dinner.

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