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Grammar 02 - Determiners - Articles 2
"This coffee is tepid." The word 'this' is a demonstrative determiner.

Grammar 02 - Determiners - Articles 2

In the previous High English quiz we learnt about determiners and, more particularly, about the definite article 'the' and the indefinite article 'a'. It is interesting to note that the most used word in the English language is the definite article ‘the’. The speaker or writer can refer to nouns using an indefinite article or a definite article depending on whether he is talking about things which the listener or reader knows or does not know. Thus, when you are talking about specific things ‘the’ is employed and when you are talking about general things ‘a’ or ‘an’ is used. In this quiz we look at demonstrative and possessive determiners.

While articles are determiners there are other types of determiners which help to modify nouns. Look at these two sentences:

‘This cycle is mine.’
‘This is my cycle’.

In these sentences the words, ‘this’ and ‘my’ preceding the noun ‘cycle’ are known as determiners. More specifically, ‘this’ in the first sentence belongs to a class of determiners known as DEMONSTRATIVES. 'This, that, these' and 'those' are all demonstrative determiners. It is to be noted that a frame of reference understood by both the writer and speaker is required for the use of demonstrative determiners so that the writer and reader are able to communicate effectively. ‘My’ in the second sentence belongs to a class known as POSSESSIVES. 'My, your, his, her, its, our', and 'their' are possessive determiners. Possessives are used when referring to an entity that belongs to another.

Determiners are used to express a close relationship or a quantity or closeness or definiteness. Determiners are also used to demonstrate something or define someone besides stating differences between nouns. It may be noted that determiners should not be confused with adjectives as there are several differences. For instance, determiners are almost always required in a sentence whereas adjectives are not. Determiners are not gradable whereas adjectives are.

The quiz that follows exposes you to the nuances of possessive and demonstrative determiners.

1.
"__ brother and I love the self-help book in my hand; ____ book shows us how to become rich!"
Fill up the two blanks with the appropriate determiners from the following options.
My, This
My, Those
My, These
Our, Those
'My' is a possessive determiner and 'this' is a demonstrative determiner, which are the appropriate determiners. 'My' refers to singular and 'This' also refers to singular and in the context of the sentence is near to the speaker
2.
"I share the bedroom with __ brother."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate possessive determiner from the following options.
Yours
Ours
Mine
My
Since the context of the sentence is singular 'my' is the appropriate determiner. The other options are not determiners
3.
"Don't forget to take ____ books. You have an exam tomorrow."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate possessive determiner from the following options.
Theirs
Yours
Your
Hers
Since the context of the sentence is singular 'your' is the appropriate determiner. The other options are not determiners
4.
"Do you see _____ men playing in the field over there; they're so hefty."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate demonstrative determiner from the following options.
Those
These
This
That
Remember 'those' refers to or modifies plural nouns that are far from the speaker. Here, 'men' are plural and the sentence talks about 'over there' and hence the appropriate demonstrative determiner is 'those'
5.
"Miss, I'm sorry to say it but ____ coffee you have just served me is tepid."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate demonstrative determiner from the following options.
Those
This
That
These
Remember 'this' refers to or modifies singular nouns that are near to the speaker. Here, 'coffee' is meant to be a cup of coffee which is singular and the sentence talks about the speaker and hence the appropriate demonstrative determiner is 'this'
6.
"Here are the guitars I am taking for my holiday. I think _____ guitars will keep me engaged during this holiday."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate demonstrative determiner from the following options.
Those
That
These
This
Remember 'these' refers to or modifies plural nouns that are near to the speaker. Here, 'guitars' are plural and the sentence talks about the speaker and hence the appropriate demonstrative determiner is 'these'
7.
"They were sitting on ____ bench in the far corner of the public gardens."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate demonstrative determiner from the following options.
Those
These
This
That
Remember 'that' refers to or modifies singular nouns that are far away from the speaker. Here, 'bench' is singular and the sentence talks about the bench that is far away from the speaker and hence the appropriate demonstrative determiner is 'that'
8.
"They are going to the matinee show. They have already got _____ tickets."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate possessive determiner from the following options.
Its
Theirs
His
Their
The pronoun to be modified is 'they' and the appropriate determiner for this plural is 'their'. Option 1 is for singular and option 3 is for a person. Option 2 is a possessive pronoun and not a determiner
9.
"Arpana has got a new refrigerator. ___ colour is white."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate possessive determiner from the following options.
Its
Her
Their
His
The noun to be modified with the determiner is the refrigerator and the appropriate determiner is 'its'. Options 2 and 4 are for persons while option 3 is for a plural
10.
"My brother and I are going to spend ___ vacation at a seaside resort."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate possessive determiner from the following options.
Its
Our
Theirs
His
Since me and my brother are in the plural the appropriate determiner is 'our'. Option 1 is for singular, option 3 is not a determiner and option 4 is for a singular person
Author:  V T Narendra

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