Use of Determiners

Like Adjectives, Determiners also qualify the Nouns that follow. Here is a list of some important Determiners :

  1. Demonstratives: this, that, these, those,
  2. Possessives: my, our, your, his, her, its, their.
  3. Some, any, much; many; each, every; either, neither; little, a little, the little; few, a few, the few; less, fewer, both, all; a lot of, lots of; a large number of; a great deal of; a good deal of
  4. Articles: The Indefinite Articles a, an, the Definite Article the.

Some, any. — To express quantity some is used in affirmative sentences, any in negative sentences.

There is some butter in the cupboard.          She has bought some pens.

I did not give him any butter.                        She did not buy any pens.

Any is used in Affirmative sentences when it has an emphatic meaning such as; “No matter which or who.”

Any fool can do it.

Give me a book. Any book will do.           He will pay any price he is asked.

Some is replaced by any in the following cases:

  1. In Interrogative Sentences as

Have You any butter?                   Did she buy any books?

But some may be used in Interrogative Sentences when these are equivalent to polite requests; as,

Will you give me some sugar?              Will you have some more coffee?

  1. In Conditional Sentences; as,

If there are any oranges in the market, please buy some.

  1. In sentences that are negative or which have a negative idea; as,
    There were hardly any mistakes in her essay.
    I don’t see any oranges in the market.
  1. Each, every; either, neither.— Each means one of two things or one of any number exceeding two; every is never used in speaking of one of two, but is always used in speaking of some number exceeding two;-as, The two soldiers had each a gun.

Five boys stood in each row.

Every man wishes to be happy.

India expects every man to do his duty.

Either has two meanings : (1) one of two or (2) each of two, that is, both. Neither is the negative of either and means neither the one nor the other.

You can go by either road [by one road or the other].

On either side [both sides] of the road, the trees grew.

He took neither side [neither this side nor that].

  1. Much, many. — Much denotes quantity; many denotes the number. Much and many may be correctly used in the following cases:
  2. In Negative sentences:
    There isn’t much tea in the pot.
    She hasn’t much money.
    We haven’t many books.
  3. In general, questions to which the answer is “Yes” or “No”.
    Were there many people present?
    Has he many Mends in the town?
  4. In “whether” or “of’ clauses :
    I wonder whether she has many Mends to help her.
  5. After “so”, “as”, “too” and “few”:
    Take as much as you want.
    Don’t eat too many sweets.
    How many do you want?

In Affirmative sentences many and much are generally replaced by other words or expressions.

Words and expressions that may be used instead of many are :

A great many; a good many; a great number (of); great numbers (of); plenty (of); a lot (of); lots (of).

Words and expressions that may be used instead of much are :

A great deal (of); a good deal (of); a large quantity (of); plenty (of); a lot (of).

Avoid the use of many and much in Affirmative sentences:

There are many books in the library. (Say instead; There are a lot of books in the library.)

He has a lot of money. (Say instead: He has a lot of money or plenty of money.)

We have a lot of time. (Say instead: We have plenty of time). in’.

Little, a little, the little. — Little means hardly any or not much. It has a negative meaning.

There was little food in the house.

There is little hope of his recovery.

A little denotes some at least. It has an affirmative meaning.

There is little hope of her recovery.

He has a little money.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The little denotes the small quantity. It has both a positive and a negative meaning.

He wasted the little money he had.

It means

The money he had was not (Negative)

He wasted all the money he had. (Positive)

  • Few, a few, the few – Few denotes not many. It has a negative meaning. He has read few books.

Few men can keep a secret.

Few people are free from faults.

A few denotes some at least — a certain number, however few. It has a positive meaning.

He has a few friends.

A few men live a pious life.

The few denotes not many. It has both a positive and a negative meaning. The few are rich, the many are poor.

He lost the few friends he had.

If means —

  1. The friends he had were not ‘ (Negative)
  2. He lost all the friends he had. (Positive)

Less, fewer — Less is used with reference to quantity, fewer with reference to

This boy. weighs no less than forty pounds.

He does not sell less than five kilograms of sugar.

No fewer than forty soldiers were wounded.

No fewer than two thousand people were present there.

Exercise 1: Fill in the blanks with ‘Some’ or ‘Any’:

  1. I don’t want__________ tea, thank you.
  2. __________ pen will do.
  3. Has he procured __________ bread?
  4. Did you see __________ girls there?
  5. I Saw __________ boys playing in the field.
  6. Will you please gice me __________milk?
  7. He will play __________ price he is asked.
  8. There are __________ pens in that drawer, aren’t there?
  9. Are there __________pens in that drawer?
  10. Would you mind giving me __________ paper?

Exercise 2: Fill in the blanks with much or many

  1. There weren’t __________ apples on the tree.
  2. She did not spend __________ money on her daughter’s marriage.
  3. __________ men were not present there.
  4. There is not __________ milk in the jug.
  5. There were not __________ women in the bus.
  6. She hasn’t __________ money.
  7. __________ People think that there will be a war soon.
  8. we haven’t __________ books in the library.
  9. How __________ Sugar do you want?
  10. How __________ pounds of sugar do you want?

Exercise 3: Fill in the blanks with Farther or Further

  1. I have nothing __________ to say.
  2. Delhi is __________ from Mumbai than Surat.
  3. Until __________ Orders, you act as Head master of the School.
  4. I shall see him without __________ delay.
  5. A __________ reason exists.
  6. The old man could not go __________ without a rest.
  7. They went __________ into the forest.
  8. The Museum will be closed untill __________ notice.
  9. We need not go __________ into the matter.
  10. It’s not safe to go any __________.

Exercise 4: Fill in the blanks with ‘Nearest’ or ‘Next’ :

  1. The thief was taken to the ___________ police station.
  2. Mohan’s house is___________ to mine.
  3. My house is___________ to thejiver.
  4. She sat___________ to me.
  5. The___________ railway station is three kilometres from here.
  6. My brother lives in the___________
  7. This street is the____________ to my house.

Exercise 5: Fill in the blanks with ‘Little’ or ‘A little’, or The little’ :

  1. __________ drops of water make a mighty ocean.
  2. He has _______ sense.
  3. He takes __________ interest in me.
  4. He has __________ money with him,
  5. __________ strength he had in him proved useless.
  6. __________ money he had was all stolen,
  7. __________ tact would have saved the situation.
  8. He gained _________ advantage from the scheme.
  9. __________ knowledge is a dangerous thing,
  10. __________ care would have prevented the accident.

Exercise 6: Fill in the blanks with ‘Few’, ‘A few’ or ‘The few :

  1. __________ were the words she spoke.
  2. __________ books she had were all burnt.
  3. He has read only___________ books.
  4. __________ friends she has are all sincere.
  5. __________ men can resist the temptation of gold.
  6.  __________day’s rest will do you immense good.
  7. __________ suggestions she gave were all carried out.
  8. __________ people live to be 100.
  9. He is a man of____________ Words.
  10. __________ Words spoken in earnest will convince her.

Exercise 7: Fill in the blanks with ‘Latter’, ‘Later’, ‘Latest’ or ‘Last’ :

  1. Mohan and Sohan went together. The former was my friend the __________ my cousin.
  2. This is the____________ news.
  3. The ________ chapter of this book is very dull.
  4. The man in the___________ row was my uncle.
  5. He was the___________ boy to get the prize.
  6. All his friends accepted the____________
  7. He came_____________ than I expected.
  8. At a___________ date, he was placed in charge of the district.
  9. What is the___________ information?
  10. The__________ chapters of this book are carelessly written.

Exercise 8: Fill in the blanks with ‘Elder’, ‘Eldest’ or ‘Older’, ‘Oldest’ :

  1. He is __________ than his cousin.
  2. She is the__________ woman in our village.
  3. This is the __________ temple in Kashmir.
  4. He is my __________ brother.
  5. He is the __________ of the two brothers.
  6. He is __________ than Hari.
  7. Balu is the __________ boy in the class.
  8. Afzal is his __________ son.
  9. Of the two sisters, Kamala is the __________
  10. He is my __________by several years.

Exercise 9: Fill in the blanks with. ‘Each’, ‘Every’, ‘Either’ or ‘Neither’ :

  1. __________ of the two boys was fined,
  2. __________ seat in the hall was occupied,
  3. __________ man wants to rise in the world,
  4. __________ accusation is true.
  5. __________ soldier was at his post,
  6. __________ side has won.
  7. __________ day has its duties.
  8. She visited us __________ three days.
  9. Five boys stood in __________ row.
  10. You can take __________ side.

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