Use of Determiners in English

Determiners are words that are used with nouns to clarify or modify the noun. Generally, determiners are used before a noun, so as to explain what the noun refers to. In simple words, a determiner is a group of words or a particular word that introduces a noun. It is a vital noun modifier that gives context to a noun, mostly in terms of quantity and possession.

Types of Determiners

In English language, determiners are categorized into following types:

1.    Articles: Articles are the most common determiners. ‘A’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ are recognized as articles. These articles explain the specificity and definiteness of a noun. ‘The’ is a definite article, whereas ‘a’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles. ‘The’ refers to a specific noun. ‘A’ is used to refer noun, but used before the words, which begin with a consonant and ‘an’ is used before the words that starts with a vowel.

For example:

•    The Amazon River is one of the longest rivers in the world.
•    An advertisement on no smoking.
•    I was born into a rich family.

2.    Demonstrative: ‘These’, ‘those’, ‘this’ and ‘that’ are known as demonstrative determiners. These determiners explain the position of an object from a speaker’s point of view.

For example:

•    Do you want to eat this piece of cake?
•    These buildings are quite expensive.

3.    Quantifiers: Quantifiers generally indicates quantity. ‘a few’, ‘many’, ‘such as’, ‘all’, ‘some’ and ‘enough’ words are the quantifiers, which explain the amount of something without stating the exact number.

For example:

•    I have enough money.
•    She took all the chocolates.

4.    Possessives: Possessive determiner refers to an entity, which belongs to another. Words like ‘your’, ‘their’, ‘my’, ‘his’, ‘her’, ‘its’ and ‘our’ shows possession and ownership.

For example:

•    Our car is more expensive than John’s.
•    Your house is beautiful.

Function of Determiners

In a sentence, a determiner can play various roles and it is specifically used to clarify the noun.

•    It modifies a noun.
•    It may be used to describe or define something or someone.
•    It describes the quantity of a thing.
•    It explains whether the noun indicated is a specific one or unspecific one.
•    It may state the difference between nouns.

What are Antecedents with Examples?

An antecedent is a literary device or a linguistic term. It is a word that a pronoun replaces or refers to. In simple words, an antecedent is a preceding word, clause or phrase to which a pronoun, noun or another word refers back to. For instance, Emily called to say she will come to work late. (Here, ‘Emily’ is the antecedent of the personal pronoun ‘she’). An antecedent is originated from English grammar. It is recognized as an expression, which gives its meaning to a proform, including pronoun, pro-verb and pro-adverb. Generally, an antecedent comes before the pronoun as ‘ante’ means before.

Antecedent plays a significant role as it makes a sentence clear and succinct to the readers. Sometimes, the use of they, their, he, she, it, them, etc. make the sentence complex and confusing for the readers. Hence, an antecedent helps a writer to convey the exact meaning in a clear and coherent manner.

Basic Rules

There are certain rules that you need to consider when dealing with antecedents and pronouns. Let us understand in detail.

•    Make sure that a pronoun and its antecedent must agree in number. If an antecedent is singular, then the pronoun that replaces it or refers to it should be also singular.

•    Similarly, a pronoun and its antecedent must also agree in gender. If an antecedent refers to a masculine gender, then the pronoun that replaces or refers to it must have the same gender. Likewise, if an antecedent has feminine gender, then the pronoun must have the same gender.

Examples of Antecedent

1. My neighbor who lives next door lost his car key. (Here, ‘neighbor’ is the antecedent of the relative pronoun ‘who’ and the possessive adjective ‘his’.)

2. Every student was required to show his or her admission ticket. (Here, ‘student’ is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘his or her’. In order to avoid any gender confusion, ‘his or her’ both pronouns are used in the sentence.)

3. My aunty likes chocolates. She requests everyone to give her chocolates on Christmas. (Here, ‘aunty is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘she’.)

4. Any student who wishes to participate in the debate competition should raise his or her hand. (Here, ‘student’ is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘his or her’.)

5. Most people are unable to read and write because they are uneducated. (Here, ‘people’ is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘they’.)

Prepositions in English Grammar

Prepositions are short words, which are used to link noun, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that is introduced by a preposition is recognized as the object of the preposition. In other words, prepositions are the words that show relationships between other words in the sentence. A relationship can be a place, time, direction, amount or manner. For instance, John will be here at 6 o’clock. (Here, ‘at’ is a preposition that indicates the time.)

A preposition generally comes before the noun or pronoun. The preposition and the object of the preposition collectively called as a prepositional phrase. In English grammar, prepositions are used in different ways, which is discussed below:

1.    Prepositions are used with time words.

For example:

•    On Wednesday
•    At 9 o clock

2.    Preposition words are used to indicate where something or someone is.

For example:

•    The painting is hanging on the wall.
•    Sara is in the library.

3.    These words are used after many adjectives.

For example:

•    I am worried about my career.
•    She is good at cooking.

4.    Prepositions are also used after some verbs.

For example:

•    She borrows a pen from her friend.
•    He walked into the room.

5.    These are words are used after some nouns.

For example:

•    He has a good relationship with his brother.
•    She has difficulty with understanding math subject.

6.    Prepositions are also used in certain phrases.

For example:

•    Like a beautiful swan.
•    Near the ocean.

List of preposition words

•    Above
•    Around
•    Across
•    After
•    Behind
•    Below
•    But
•    Closed to
•    Concerning
•    Between
•    During
•    Except
•    Inside
•    In spite of
•    Including
•    Through
•    Like
•    Next
•    Onto
•    Outside
•    Over
•    Past
•    Under
•    Unlike
•    Up
•    Upon
•    With
•    While

Importance of Tenses in English Grammar

In English language, tenses play a significant role in constructing a meaningful sentence for the readers.  Tenses are primarily categorized into past tense, present tense and future tense. The tenses are an important part of English grammar. It shows the time of an action or state of being that is usually shown by a verb. The verb ending is changed in order to show the present, past or future time. Hence, a tense act as a verb, so as to indicate what happen when.

It is important to understand the different tenses when it comes to English language. While writing a sentence, you need to know when to use present tense, past tense or future tense. The words ‘Tense’ is derived from Latin word ‘tempus’ which mean time. It is mainly used to explain an action or event that is described by the verb and the time. Let us understand the different tenses that describe an action or event by changing its form.

Types of Tenses

1. Present Tense:

•    Simple present tense: It is used to explain an action, event or condition that is happening in the present. For example, I play or I eat.
•  Present continuous tense: It describes an ongoing action or an action that is still going. For instance, I am playing or I am eating. 
•    Present perfect tense: It indicates an action that began in the past and continues into the present. For example, I have played or I have eaten.
•   Present perfect continuous tense: It is used to describe an action that has been taking place for some time and is still ongoing. For example, I have been playing or I have been eating.

2. Past Tense:

•  Simple past tense: It is used to explain an event or an action that has happened in the past. For example, I played or I ate.
•  Past continuous tense: It is used to describe an event or an action that is ongoing in the past. For instance, I was playing or I was eating.
•  Past perfect tense: It refers to an action or event that took place in the past. For example, I had played or I had eaten.
•  Past perfect continuous tense: It describes a continuing action in the past that began before another past action began or interrupted the first action. For instance, I had been playing or I had been eating.

3. Future Tense:

•  Simple future tense: It is used when we plan to do something. For example, I will play or I will eat.
•  Future continuous tense: It describes a continuing action that will happen in the future. In short, it refers to an action ongoing in the future. For instance, I will be eating at 8 o’clock or I will be playing at 6 o’clock.
•  Future perfect tense: It refers to an action that will happen in the future before another action takes place. For example, I shall have played before 5 o’clock or I shall have eaten before 9 o’clock.
•  Future perfect continuous tense: It indicates a continuing action, which will be completed at a specified time in the future. For instance, I shall have been playing or I will have been eating.

What are Synonyms and Antonyms?

Wouldn’t it be challenging if you were asked to express your thoughts or communicate your ideas by using only one word. If a place, person or object is described with the help of a single word, then writing, reading and speaking will be certainly boring. Fortunately, we have myriads of words to express our thoughts and feelings. The words that have similar meanings are known as synonyms and the words that have opposite meanings are known as antonyms.  Synonyms and antonyms both are indispensable parts of the English language. All words have synonyms as well as antonyms and also help us to communicate our feelings and ideas precisely to others. Let us understand the synonyms and antonyms in detail:


Synonyms refer to words that have the same or similar meanings. In short, the word that contains the same or very nearly the same meaning is called as a synonym. It can be used interchangeably while writing or speaking. For example, small (word) – tiny (synonym). However, there are few words that have identical meaning, but the words are not necessarily interchangeable. For instance, explode (word) – blow up (synonym). Here explode is a formal word, but blow up is an informal word. Generally, synonyms are used interchangeably without changing the overall meaning of a sentence. These words show different variations of the same understanding. 

Examples of synonym:

•    Good – Great, Excellent, Wonderful, Fine
•    Weak – Delicate, Wimpy, Fragile, Flimsy
•    Intelligent – Clever, Sharp, Intellectual, Bright
•    Lazy – Idle, Dull, Indolent, Lethargic
•    Beautiful – Gorgeous, Lovely, Marvelous, Attractive

Antonyms refer to words that have opposite meanings. In short, the word that contains opposite meaning is called as an antonym.  For example, introvert (word) - extrovert (antonym). It is important to choose the right antonym while writing. For instance, the antonym of ‘warm’ is cool or chilly, but ‘cool’ can be interpreted as ‘stylish’. According to the English language, antonyms are categorized into three different parts, including graded antonyms, relational antonyms and complementary antonyms.

Examples of antonym:

1. Graded Antonym: The word pairs that have variation between the two opposites. For example:

•    Healthy – Sick
•    Good – Bad
•    Big – Little

2. Relational Antonym: The word pairs have a relationship and would not exist without the other. For example:

•    Front – Rear
•    Girl – Boy
•    Open – Close

3. Complementary Antonym: The words that have two opposite possibilities and no degree of meaning. For example:

•    Male – Female
•    Dark – Light
•    Dead – Alive

What is Composition Writing in English?

A composition is a piece of writing, which describes or addresses a specific subject. In composition writing, an idea or thought is arranged in a coherent manner so as to make it interesting for the readers. The word ‘composition’ derives from the Latin word ‘componere’, which means ‘put together’. Generally, writing classes are recognized as composition classes. Even writing music is also known as composition. In short, composition is a writing process in which a writer writes something to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to express feeling or to draw the attention of the readers on something. In English language, composition writing is categorized into three main parts, including introduction, body and conclusion.

Let us understand the structure of composition writing in detail.

1. Introduction: Introduction is the main part of composition writing. It should be written in a clear and concise manner so as to capture the attention of readers. The introduction paragraph should start with a general statement like ‘thesis statement’ or an interesting topic like ‘My Memorable Trip to New York’. Make sure that the introduction paragraph should contain two to three sentences, which gives a general idea to readers about the thesis statement.

2. Body: The body paragraph is a section where you can elaborate, express or describe the statement, subject or a topic in a detailed manner. Present your thoughts and views to readers with the help of supporting facts and evidences. Besides, write about the pros and cons of your thesis statement so as to involve the readers in your discussion or argument. If possible use idioms in between the paragraphs.

3. Conclusion: Wrap up your thesis statement in the conclusion paragraph. It is the final part of your composition. In order to make it appealing for the readers, you need to summarize the thoughts and views that you had discussed in the body paragraphs. A conclusion makes the final impression on readers, therefore reiterate each and every point precisely.

Homophones and Homonyms Difference

Homophones and homonyms are tricky as well as confusing words. The prefix ‘homo’ derives from the Greek word ‘homós’ which means ‘one and the same’. Hence, homophone and homonym words show some kind of similarity. A thorough knowledge of these words will save you from making grammatical mistakes. Let us understand the difference between the homophone and homonym words.

In English language, homophones refer to the words that are pronounced the same, but have different spelling and meaning. In short, homophones are those words that sound alike but differ in meaning and spelling. For instance, ‘Ad and Add’ or ‘Tail and Tale’. Generally, homophones come in a group of two, but these words are also identified in a group of three or four. Apart from this, most homophones are pronounced same and have similar spelling and different meaning. For example, ‘lead’ (as a metal) and (as a verb - to go in front).

List of Homophone Words:

•    Addition and Edition
•    Beat and Beet
•    Flower and Flour
•    Hole and Whole
•    Plane and Plain
•    Knight and Night
•    Root and Route
•    Sail and Sale
•    Site and Sight
•    Weak and Week 


Homonyms refer to a group of words that have the same pronunciation and same spelling, but different meaning. In short, the word that is pronounced and spelled alike, but have different meaning is known as a homonym. For example, ‘Band’ (a rubber band) and (a rock band) or ‘Fair’ (book fair) and (fair complexion). In addition to this, homonyms are also homographs (words that are spelled alike, but have different meaning and pronunciation) and homophones (words that are sound alike but have different spelling and meaning). According to the English language, the state of being a homonym is called homonymy.

List of Homonym Words:

•    Allowed and Aloud
•    Bare and Bear
•    Cereal and Serial
•    Die and Dye
•    Earn and Urn
•    Flea and Flee
•    Grate and Great
•    Hoarse and Horse
•    Rest and Wrest
•    Toe and Tow

English Grammar