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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Determiners

Determiners usually start a noun phrase and are words which give us information about whether the noun is specific or general.  For instance, in the sentence 'This cat would be the best for me', the word 'this' indicates we are talking about a specific cat.  'A cat' or 'any cat' would not indicate any specific cat, as 'a' and 'any' are general determiners.

When children start writing, they very often rely on the general determiners 'a' and 'an', or the specific determiner 'the'.  We should encourage children to increase the range of determiners they use so that they can vary their writing and communicate more clearly whether they are talking about something specific or general. 

As children are taught to read and write many determiners as part of their phonics teaching in Reception and Year 1 classes, it is an ideal opportunity or them to put these words into practice. However, they do not need to know the term 'determiner' until they are in Year 4.

Here are some determiners you can use with children to help them improve their use:
  • a, an, the  (these are also called 'articles' but this is not a term children are required to learn)
  • this, that, these, those
  • some, any, every, another
  • my, your, his, her, its, our, their
  • several, few, many
  • next, last
  • first, seventh, tenth  (ordinal numbers, which indicate an order)
  • six, twelve  (cardinal numbers, which indicate a quantity)
  • which, whose, what (when these words are used to start questions, e.g. Which book is mine?)


The table below contains some determiners, some of which can only be used with a singular noun, some with a plural noun and some with both singular and plural.  


a
an
the
this
that
these
those
my
his
her
our
your
their
some
all
one
two
three
other
many
another

You can use the table to create cards to match up to pictures of singular and plural nouns.  Discussing what the words mean and whether they can be matched with the nouns in the pictures will help your child develop understanding around their use.  Here is a picture to start you off.

flowers
rose
fern
leaves
 


  • the flowers
  • some flowers
  • many flowers
  • these flowers
  • my flowers
  • a rose
  • the rose
  • one rose
  • our rose

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