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December 18, 2015

Determiners are adjective words like a, an, the (articles), some, any, each, every, either, neither, a great many, little, a little, the little, few, a few, the few, less, fewer, much, many.


  • Some, Any


To express quantity, some is used in the affirmative sentences; any in negative sentences e.g.


  • I have some milk but I do not have any sugar.


  • She bought some shoes but did not buy any dresses.


  1. a) Some is used in interrogative sentences when making polite requests g.


  • Will you give me some sugar?


  • Will you have some more tea?


  1. b) In conditional sentences g.


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


  1. c) Use of any in interrogative or negative sentences g.


  • Did you buy any stamps?


  • Have you any articles on the recent events?
  • I didn’t see any oranges in the market.
  • Each, Every; Either, Neither


Each means one of two things or one of any number exceeding two. Every is used while speaking of some number exceeding two e.g.


  • Each of them had a gun in his hand.


  • Each of you can go to the market.


  • Every man expects loyalty from its people.



Either has two meanings:


1) One out of two


2) Each of two (both)



Neither is the negative of either and means neither the one nor the other e.g.


  • You can leave by either door. (By one door or the other)


  • Trees grew on either side of the road. (Both sides)
  • He looked at neither side of the road. (Neither this side nor the other.)


  • Much, Many: Much stands for quantity and many denotes number g.


  • Was there much milk left in the pot?


  • Were there many people watching the movie?


  • We haven’t got many books.


  • She doesn’t have much more.


Note: The expressions which may be used instead of many, are a great deal (of), a good deal (of), a large quantity (of), plenty of, a lot (of) while the expressions used instead of much are

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



  • Little, A Little, The Little


Little means hardly any or not much. It has a negative meaning e.g.


  • There was little money in the house.


  • There was little that she could do to help the patient.


A little means some at least. It has an affirmative meaning e.g.


  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


  • There is a little milk left in the pot.



The little means all. It can be used both positively and negatively e.g.


  • He wasted the little strength he had in being angry.


It means …….. .


  1. The strength he had was not much. (negative)


  1. He wasted all his strength. (positive)


  • Few, A Few, The Few


Few means not many and has a negative meaning e.g.


  • He has few books in his study room.


A few means some at least. It has a positive meaning e.g.


  • He has few books left in the library.


The few means all. It can be used both positively and negatively e.g.


  • He lost the few friends he had.


(It means, he lost all the friends he had (positive).The friends he had were not many (negative).


  • Less, Fewer


Less is used with reference to quantity and fewer with reference to number e.g.


  • The huge pumpkin weighed no less than ten pounds.


  • I cannot buy less than ten kilograms of rice.


  • No fewer than two thousand people joined the strike.


  • No fewer than ten civilians were hurt in the firing.