Saturday, September 30, 2017

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

Although William Shakespeare is best known as a playwright, he is also the poet behind 154 sonnets, which were collected for the first time in a collection in 1609. Based on the Petrarchan (or Italian) sonnet, Shakespeare’s sonnets differ from the norm by addressing not only a young woman – which was the norm in Italy – but also a young man, known throughout as the Fair Youth. Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? is one of the Fair Youth poems, addressed to a mysterious male figure that scholars have been unable to pin down. A total of 126 of the 154 sonnets are largely taken to be addressed to the Fair Youth, which some scholars have also taken as proof of William Shakespeare’s homosexuality.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? attempts to justify the speaker’s beloved’s beauty by comparing it to a summer’s day, and comes to the conclusion that his beloved is better after listing some of the summer’s negative qualities. While summer is short and occasionally too hot, his beloved has a beauty that is everlasting, and that will never be uncomfortable to gaze upon. This also riffs – as Sonnet 130 does – on the romantic poetry of the age, the attempt to compare a beloved to something greater than them. Although in Sonnet 130, Shakespeare is mocking the over-flowery language, in Sonnet 18, Shakespeare’s simplicity of imagery shows that that is not the case. The beloved’s beauty can coexist with summer, and indeed be more pleasant, but it is not a replacement for it.
  Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? Analysis
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The poem opens with the speaker putting forward a simple question: can he compare his lover to a summer’s day? Historically, the theme of summertime has always been used to evoke a certain amount of beauty, particularly in poetry. Summer has always been seen as the respite from the long, bitter winter, a growing period where the earth flourishes itself with flowers and with animals once more. Thus, to compare his lover to a summer’s day, the speaker considers their beloved to be tantamount to a rebirth, and even better than summer itself.
As summer is occasionally short, too hot, and rough, summer is, in fact, not the height of beauty for this particular speaker. Instead, he attributes that quality to his beloved, whose beauty will never fade, even when ‘death brag thou waander’stin his shade‘, as he will immortalize his lover’s beauty in his verse.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, / So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The immortality of love and beauty through poetry provides the speaker with his beloved’s eternal summer. Though they might die and be lost to time, the poem will survive, will be spoken of, will live on when they do not. Thus, through the words, his beloved’s beauty will also live on.
In terms of imagery, there is not much that one can say about it. William Shakespeare’s sonnets thrive on a simplicity of imagery, at a polar opposite to his plays, whose imagery can sometimes be packed with meaning. Here, in this particular sonnet, the feeling of summer is evoked through references to the ‘darling buds‘ of May, and through the description of the sun as golden-complexioned. It is almost ironic that we are not given a description of the lover in particular. In fact, scholars have argued that, as a love poem, the vagueness of the beloved’s description leads them to believe that it is not a love poem written to a person, but a love poem about itself; a love poem about love poetry, which shall live on with the excuse of being a love poem. The final two lines seem to corroborate this view, as it moves away from the description of the lover to point out the longevity of his own poem. As long as men can read and breathe, his poem shall live on, and his lover, too, will live on, because he is the subject of this poem.
However, opinions are divided on this topic.
Shakespeare’s sonnets are all written in iambic pentameter – an unstressed syllable, followed by a stressed syllable, with five of these in each line – with a rhyming couplet at the end.
 Historical Background
William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon to an alderman and glover. He is widely regarded as the greatest English writer of all time, and wrote 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and 38 plays, though recently another play has been found and attributed to William Shakespeare. Although much is known about his life, scholars are still uncertain as to whether or not Shakespeare actually authored his works, and convincing arguments exist on both sides.
He died on his 52nd birthday, after signing a will which declared that he was in ‘perfect health’. Theories about his death include that he drank too much at a meeting with Ben Jonson, and Drayton, contemporaries of his, contracted a fever, and died.
His work remains a lasting source of wonder to many filmmakers, writers, and scholars, and has been recreated in other media – most noticeably Baz Luhrmann’ 2004 Romeo + Juliet. William Shakespeare’s work also has worldwide appeal, and has been recreated for Japanese audiences in films such as Throne of Blood, which is based on Macbeth, though Throne of Blood eschews all the poetry and focuses simply on the story.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day: William Shakespeare - Summary and Critical Analysis

The poet William Shakespeare thinks that his love is incomparable. He can’t compare her to the summer’s days because; she is lovelier and milder than it. In summer the stormy winds weaken the charming rosebuds and the prospect of renewed health or happiness lasts for a very short time. The sun is occasionally very hot and its golden rays are often dim.
The beauty of every beautiful thing decreases and is spoiled accidentally or naturally. But the eternal summer or the charm of the poet’s love will never be proud of taking the poet’s friend to its dark kingdom. In fact, death will never enjoy its victory over his friend because the poet’s verse will remain eternal all through the time. His friend may die physically, but her beauty will remain in the poem. As long as the human race remains alive and as long as men can read, this sonnet will live as it is eternal, and thus the poet’s friend will be immortal.
This sonnet claims that the Dark Lady is more beautiful than the summer’s day and is also as immortal as Shakespeare’s sonnet. Thoughts of a literary immortality through the poet's verse inspire this sonnet. Her eternal summer would outlast all summer’s lease in the future. The beauty of the summer’s day with the darling buds of May is not lovelier than her. Eternal lines of verse would make an eternal summer of her beauty denying Death and Time and their power of destruction.
Shakespeare takes heart, expects immortality for his verse, and so immortality for his friend as surviving in it. He will fearlessly express ‘a poet’s rage’. Immortalizing beauty through verse was a commonplace among the Elizabethan sonnet writers. This sonnet is magnificent throughout-from the perfect beauty of the opening quatrain to the sweet and the rush of the triumphant final couplet. The rhythms are varied with the subtlest skill and the majestic line-“But thy eternal summer shall not fade” reverberates like a stroke on a gong.
This sonnet has three quatrains and a couplet. It follows the rhyme scheme abba cdcd efefef and gg. The ideas are developed in the three quatrains and the conclusion is embedded in the couplet. The conclusion is that as long as the human race remains alive and as long as men can read, this sonnet will live, and thus immortalize the woman the poet loves. Shakespeare’s conclusion holds true because art can really immortalize people. Time and death may destroy the persona and her beauty physically, but they can’t destroy her completely. Whenever people read this verse, they certainly remember the poet’s beloved and she is brought to life in the mind of the readers. Time and death can’t wipe out her existence for ever. The rose metaphor is deftly humanized in the phrase ‘darling bud of May’ in this sonnet.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

  • The speaker starts by asking or wondering out loud whether he ought to compare whomever he’s speaking to with a summer’s day.
  • Instead of musing on that further, he jumps right in, and gives us a thesis of sorts. The object of his description is more "lovely" and more "temperate" than a summer’s day.
  • "Lovely" is easy enough, but how about that "temperate"? The meaning that comes to mind first is just "even-keeled" or "restrained," but "temperate" also introduces, by way of a double meaning, the theme of internal and external "weather." "Temperate," as you might have heard on the Weather Channel, refers to an area with mild temperatures, but also, in Shakespeare’s time, would have referred to a balance of the "humours."
  • No need to explain this in great detail, but basically doctors since Ancient Greece had believed that human behavior was dictated by the relative amount of particular kinds of fluids in the body (if you must know, they were blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Yummy, no?).
  • By the early 1600s, this theory was being strongly challenged, but people in Shakespeare’s audience would have known that "temperate" meant that someone had the right amount of those different fluids.
  • The other important (and less disgusting) issue these lines bring up is the question of "thee." Normally, we’d just assume that the object of the poem is his lover, and leave it at that. But with Shakespeare, these things are always complicated.
  • What can we tell about the relationship between the speaker and his addressee from the way he addresses "thee"?
  • For the moment, all we can really tell is this: the speaker doesn’t seem to care much what "thee" thinks. He does ask whether he ought to make this comparison, but he certainly doesn’t wait long (or at all) for an answer.
  • So is he just wondering out loud here, pretending "thee" is present?
  • Even better, and this is important, could "thee" also be us readers? Is it just us, or does some small part of you imagine that Shakespeare might be asking you, the reader, whether you want him to compare you to a summer’s day? Keep that on the back burner as you go through the poem.
  • Finally, just a note on the meter here:
  • Go ahead and read those first two lines out loud. Notice how they’re kind of bouncy? That’s the iambic pentameter: "compare thee to a summer’s day."
  • So do you want to see a cool bit of foreshadowing? The pronoun "I" is a stressed syllable in the first line, but the pronoun "Thou" is unstressed in the second line. Guess who’s going to be the real subject of this poem.
Lines 3-4
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
  • Here the speaker begins to personify nature. In other words, some of the smack talking he’s doing about summer sounds like he’s talking about a person.
  • Basically, strong summer winds threaten those new flower buds that popped up in May, and summer just doesn’t last very long.
  • The way he describes the short summer, though, is what’s interesting. Summer has a "lease" on the weather, just as your family might have a lease on your car; like a person, summer can enter into, and must abide by, agreements.
  • The point here is clear enough: the summer is fated to end.
  • But check this out: isn’t summer also fated to begin every year once again? Can the summer possibly have "too short a date," if it happens an infinite number of times? Isn’t it, in a meaningful sense, immortal?
  • Keep this in mind as you read on.
Lines 5-6
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
  • Here comes the major personification of nature. Put simply, the speaker’s saying sometimes the sun is too hot, and other times you can’t even see it at all (hidden, we assume, by clouds).
  • But instead of being boring, he calls the sun the "eye of heaven," refers to it using the word "his," and gives it a "complexion," which generally means refers to the skin of the face.
  • Check out how much more information about the summer we’re getting than we are about the beloved. Indeed, the speaker is carefully describing the summer individually, and even in human terms, while he only describes "thee" in one line and only relative to the summer.
  • "Complexion," in particular, is especially interesting, as it brings back the whole "humours" theme we saw in "temperate."
  • "Complexion" used to be used to describe someone’s health, specifically with regard to their balance of humours. Thus, we see here again that the speaker is combining descriptions of external weather phenomena with internal balance.
Lines 7-8
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
  • With these lines, the speaker gets even broader in his philosophy, declaring that everything beautiful must eventually fade away and lose its charm, either by chance or by the natural flow of time. Kind of like teen pop stars.
  • Now what exactly does "untrimm’d" refer to?
  • We might read it as what happens to "fair" or beautiful things. By that reading, things that are beautiful eventually lose their trimmings, or their decorations, and thus fade from beauty.
  • On the other hand, "untrimm’d" is also a term from sailing, as you "trim," or adjust, the sails to take advantage of the wind. This gives "untrimm’d" a completely opposite meaning; instead of "made ugly and plain by natural changes," it means "unchanged in the face of nature’s natural changes."

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening BY ROBERT FROST

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask, if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of ,,easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And, miles to go before I sleep.
Our speaker is in the woods, but (gasp) he's trespassing. He first wonders who owns these woods. In the same breath, he tells us that he thinks he does know who owns them. The lucky landowner lives in a house in the village. Phew. So, our speaker won't get into trouble for trespassing, because there's no one to catch him trespassing. 

Surprise! Our speaker has a horse (neigh), and this horse is little. Our speaker psycho-analyzes his little horse and supposes that said little horse must think it's pretty strange for them to be stopping in the middle of nowhere, with no one in sight, with not even a farmhouse close by, and absolutely no sign of hay. Newsflash: the speaker and his little horse are chilling (pun intended) between the woods and a frozen lake. Ice skating? Nope. Also, it happens to be the darkest evening of the year.
Little Horse is starting to really lose it. Fortunately, he has some harness bells on his back, and he gives them a little shake in order to get his master's attention. The only other sounds are of a slight wind and of falling snow. Shhhhhh. It's quiet. 
Our speaker admits to having a hankering for the dark woods, but he tells us he's got things to do, people to see and places to go. He's got a long way to go before he can rest his head on his little pillow, so he had better get going.
Maybe you've seen this little poem elegantly scrawled on a gift card. Perhaps your favorite teacher recited it to you and your classmates with a chilling, gravelly voice. Or perchance you simply came across it once upon a time and can't seem to get it out of your head. No matter what, we're willing to bet big money that you and this poem are already friends.
Robert Frost wrote "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" in 1922, two years before winning the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes. The poem tells the story of a man traveling through some snowy woods on the darkest evening of the year, and he's pretty much in love with what he sees around him. He's on his way back to town, but he can't quite tear himself away from the lovely and dark woods.

People love to talk about what this poem means. Some argue that it is simply a description of a man appreciating nature. Others would tell you that there is some heavy metaphor action going down, and that the poem is about death. And there are those who take it a step further and say that this poem addresses suicide. Nature-lovers see it as a piece that trumpets nature and that scorns civilization (take that, civilization!). You probably have your own idea of what this poem means. We at Shmoop have an inkling that the heart of this poem's awesomeness lies in how it soundsrather than in what it means, and so we're going to take some time to look at and listen to the sounds in this poem (see "Sound Check").

Robert Frost is a beloved American poet, and many people associate him with nature and with the New England landscape, because, well, he liked to write about nature and the New England landscape. He was born in San Francisco (land of the sourdough), but spent most of his years in snowy places like Massachusetts and New Hampshire (land of the maple syrup). 
Frost is known for creating simple poems that can be interpreted on many different levels. He also loved to inject every day, colloquial speech into his poems. He was big on sounds, often talking about how the sounds of words carry more meaning than the words themselves. Check it:
"What we do get in life and miss so often in literature is the sentence
sounds that underlie the words. Words themselves do not convey meaning,
and to [. . . prove] this, . . . let us take the example of two people who
are talking on the other side of a closed door, whose voices can be heard
but whose words cannot be distinguished. Even though the words do not
carry, the sound of them does, and the listener can catch the meaning of
the conversation. . . . [T]o me a sentence is not interesting merely in
conveying a meaning of words. It must do something more; it must convey a
meaning by sound." (Source)
So, if we follow Mr. Frost's advice, we shouldn't be so concerned with what this poem means as concerned with how it means. Let's warm up our vocal chords and perk up our ears, because something tells us we're going to be reciting and listening to "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" until the wee hours of the night.
 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' is one of Robert Frost's most famous poems, filled with the theme of nature and vivid imagery that readers of his work have come to love. In this lesson, we'll summarize the poem, discuss its major theme and several interpretations, and finish with a quiz to test your knowledge.

The Poem

If you've ever seen or experienced snow, you've probably taken a few minutes to marvel at its beauty. Possibly you were drawn to this element of nature that is at once soothing to look at and dark in its association with cold, winter, and the silence of nature. In literature, the seasons of nature are often used to explore the relationship between life and death, and one of Robert Frost's most famous poems, 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,' written in 1922, captures this pull between life and death, man, and nature.

Theme & Analysis

Like many of Frost's poems, 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' deals with the contemplation of nature. Many readers debate about whether or not the tone of the poem is calm and serene or dark and depressing.

Serene Interpretation

On the one hand, the speaker wants to take a moment to pause in a quiet spot to watch the snow falling, perhaps to soothe his mind and contemplate nature. The pull of the woods could just be the solitude of being alone and the lure of being free of responsibilities.
It might also suggest a sense of adventure and attraction to danger - the 'darkness' and 'depth' of the woods. Perhaps the speaker wants to experience new things and places, but his responsibilities - his work, his family, his community - keep him from going off on dark and dangerous adventures.

The Village in the Jungle By Leonard Woolf

The Village in the Jungle tells the story of twin sisters, Punchi Menika and Hinnihami, each of whom has a "strangeness and wildness" associated with the jungle.
Each is brought under the thumb of a dominant man.
Leonard's description of the near rape through which a young man, Babun, claims Punchi Menika as his mate: "She allowed him to take her into the thick jungle, but she struggled with him, and her whole body shook with fear and desire as she felt his hands upon her breasts. A cry broke from her, in which, joy and desire mingled with the fear and the pain”. However, frightening Babun's lust, Punchi Menika's married life may be more chilling, for soon her "wildness" becomes "dimmer and vaguer": "She became the man's woman, the cook of his food, the cleaner of his house, and bearer of his children".
Hinnihami fares worse. A hideously scarred old shaman, Punchirala, begins to hanker for her, and despite her elaborate efforts to resist him, Hinnihami finds that the old man's magic is potent enough to endanger her father's life. Reluctantly, Hinnihami agrees to be given to Punchirala.
But, she defiantly interprets the agreement to mean that she will be his sexual partner for only one night.
Nevertheless, she becomes pregnant, and soon after giving birth, she begins to suckle an orphaned fawn alongside her daughter, Punchi Nona. The girl dies, and Hinnihami comes to think of the deer, which she continues to nurse, as her son. When drought and other ills descend on the village, its superstitious inhabitants, blaming Hinnihami's aberrant behavior, surround the deer to stone it. Hinnihami tries to intervene, but they throw her to the ground, tearing her jacket to shreds, and beat her. The deer dies later that day; Hinnihami is dead by the next morning. The narrative then turns back to Punchi Menika. She is soon pursued by a powerful older man, Fernando, who has her husband sent off to prison, where he dies; Fernando himself is shot dead by Punchi Menika's father, who is then imprisoned for life. The novel ends with Punchi Menika alone in the deserted village, waiting for death, which comes in the ambiguously metaphoric form of a wild boar gliding into her hut with gleaming white tusks.
He felt that The Village in the Jungle expressed his growing anti-imperialism after leaving the civil service, and the respect he shows the native people of Ceylon in the novel.
The novel describes the lives of a poor family in a small village called Beddagama (literally, "The village in the jungle") as they struggle to survive the challenges presented by poverty, disease, superstition, the unsympathetic colonial system, and the jungle itself. The head of the family is a hunter named Silindu, who has two daughters named Punchi Menika and Hinnihami. After being manipulated by the village authorities and a debt collector, Silindu is put on trial for murder.
The story of Village in the Jungle is full of acrimony. It is disgusting to see that human beings are subjected to such levels of torture and misery by their own neighbors and the administrators. Unfortunately the story of the novel is not unique only to Baddegama. It is the story of the rural Sri Lanka during colonial times. The story of the rural villages is not that different even today with all the advancement of technology and democracy we are supposed to enjoy.
Leonard Woolf selects a few characters of the village Baddegama in the deep down south of Sri Lanka and tells us a story about how the dreams of a young couple, Babun and Punchimenika shatter away due to the lewdness of a trader who comes to the village and subsequent troubles created to separate Babun from Punchimenika.
In the backdrop of the main story, there is another story about Punchimenika’s younger sister, Hinnihamy being forced to marry an old and vicious indigenous medical practitioner and her subsequent death by the villagers due to the suspicions inculcated against her in the villagers’ mind by the medical practitioner as she refuses to be his wife.
Silindu, the protagonist of the novel leads a miserable life squeezed in to the jungle and the bureaucracy. He is as silent as a deer and becomes violent as a provoked water buffalo when it is too much for him to tolerate the wickedness of the world.
There is a Sinhala language movie with the same name based on the novel with lead roles played by Wijaya Kumarathunga, Malani Fonseka, Joe Abeywickrama, Tony Ranasinghe, D. R. Nanayakkara and Nadeeka Gunasekara. Dr. Arthur C. Clarke makes a cameo appearance. The film is directed by none other than Lester James Pieris. (Wanninayake)
The Village in the Jungle (1913) was his first novel, based on his administrative and personal experiences when working as an Assistant Government Agent in the Hambantota District of Ceylon. Mirroring Woolf’s own disillusionment with the imperial project, the novel traces its protagonist Silindu’s struggle against the slow but steady bureaucratization of life that comes with the account books, gun licenses and courthouses of colonial rule, which ultimately leads him to murder. The novel is a strange counterpoint to Woolf’s other writing from his time in Ceylon. While his official administrative diaries show meticulous records of legal proceedings, pearl fishing and harvesting, The Village in the Jungle finds facts difficult to grapple with. Dominated by a narrative voice from within Silindu’s community, the novel nevertheless refuses to put forward definite opinions. Using the master-trope of the modernist colonial novel, disorientation, all the characters and events that Woolf writes about are, like the jungle, shrouded in a sense of unknowability.
The novel is an exceptional contribution to the modernist period, largely because of its unusual treatment of racially other characters.
The Village in the Jungle has a single white character (a magistrate, possibly based on Woolf himself), and escapes resorting to stereotypes of the “native” as uncivilised, immature and dangerous. Instead, a more complex portrait of Sinhalese colonial society is created. Rather than simply representing the colonial encounter in terms of binaries of us/them, the novel demonstrates that communities are built not just on race, but also on affect and fellow- feeling. Woolf’s fellow colonisers, as the volume of his autobiography dealing with Ceylon, Growing, shows us, had little in common with him; he in turn was disgusted by their artificiality and stylised behaviour. Similarly, while Silindu’s oppressors, headmen and petty moneylenders, are definitely instruments of the colonial state, they are Sinhalese like him, and yet see nothing but bestiality in him that they at once exploit and are afraid of. The magistrate, on the other hand, not only recognizes the suffering he sees in Silindu’s face when he is brought before him on charges of murder, but identifies with his pain in a manner that renders barriers of race and colour irrelevant.
The aftermath of The Village in the Jungle spurred Woolf on to write a series of tracts that argued against the British Empire, both as an economic as well as a moral-political construct. He also went on to actively propound these views through his associations with the Labour Party and Fabian Society. He was only to visit Ceylon again in 1960, nine years before his death. The novel, in its centenary year of publication, remains today a central text in the Sri Lankan colonial literary canon.

Leonard Woolf`s village in the jungle is a fascinating novel written about the life of the peasants in Sri Lanka during the British rule. The story takes place in a remote jungle village called Baddegama . The writer recalls the strange happenings not only within Baddegama but also in its surroundings. The story is between a high cast family and a low cast family and how a foreign man who comes to the village influences these two families. The story goes on describing how the low cast family is suffered by the high cast family and their friends in the village. 

In 1980, Sir Lester James Peries released a superb film based on this well known novel, naming it Baddegama . The film helped the novel to be as real as it was in the reader`s imagination as it gave faces to the main characters such as Silindu , and his two daughters, Punchi Manika and Hinnihamy , Babun , also not forgetting the cruel native doctor Punchirala , the village headman Bebehamy and Fernando the man

Saturday, August 26, 2017


What is a Determiner?
In the midst of all the nouns, pronouns, adjectives and articles a student is expected to learn, the determiner is often left by the wayside, untaught or taught incorrectly. The determiner is an important noun modifier which provides introduces and provides context to a noun, often in terms of quantity and possession. Determiners in English precede a noun or noun phrase and include articles, demonstratives, quantifiers and possessives.
Determiners in English
There are many different determiners in the English language.
Articles are among the most common of the determiners. A, an, and the all express the definiteness and specificity of a noun.
For example, “the” is a definite article, meaning the person using the word is referring to a specific one. On the other hand, “a” or “an” are indefinite articles.
  • The dog is barking too loudly.
  • A student returned the book.
Demonstratives, such as this, that, these and those, require a frame of reference in which an individual can point out the entities referred to by a speaker or a writer.
  • Do you want this piece of chicken?
  • I don't want to go to that movie.
Quantifiers, such as all, few, and many, point out how much or how little of something is being indicated.
  • He took all the books.
  • Few of the children wanted to go to the zoo.

When referring to an entity that belongs to another, you can use possessives. My, your, their, and its, are a few examples.
  • Is this your car?
  • The dog growled and showed its teeth.
There are many other types of determiners. For instance, cardinal numbers, the numbers that are written out in English, are also included in the class of determiners. Determiners are generally split into two groups—definite determiners and indefinite determiners.
Function of a Determiners
A determiner can take on a number of different meanings and roles in a sentence. The determiner is used in every case to clarify the noun.
  • They may be used to demonstrate or define something or someone.
Quantifiers state how many of a thing, in number or expression. A determiner is used to show that the noun indicated is a specific one (that one), not an unspecific one (any).
  • They may also state the differences between nouns.
While determiners may have a number of other functions, most of them are related to these two key areas. The list of determiners only numbers about 50 words, and all of these words are commonly used by most individuals. Determiners are not difficult to get the grasp of when contrasted with adjectives, and do not take too long for native English speakers to grasp. After all, how many times have you had trouble deciding whether to say “the” or “a”? 
Determining Determiners
How should you choose which determiner to use? For those who were raised speaking the English language, determining the determiner to use is second-nature, since determiners are so often used in front of nouns.
Like the basic parts of speech, determiners are so ingrained into the English language that using them is simple. The same goes for most Indo-European languages (for instance, Romance languages such as Spanish and the Germanic languages such as German).
However, the languages of other countries may not use determiners, or may have sets of rules very different than the English language does. For these individuals, learning how and where to use determiners can be rather difficult. 
Determiners and Adjectives
Until recently, English teaching in schools did not take determiners into account. Many determiners were simply lumped into the category of “adjectives,” which works for some but certainly not for all.
  • Adjectives have primarily three functions: they modify noun phrases, or complement the object or subject of a sentence.
  • The function of a determiner is to express proximity, relationship, quantity, and definiteness.
Determiners are not gradable as are adjectives. For example, a person may be angry, angrier, or the angriest. A person cannot be “her-est” or “the-est.”
Determiners are usually necessary (or obligatory) in a sentence, whereas adjectives are not.
Adjectives, unlike determiners, cannot have corresponding pronouns.
Adjectives and determiners are distinct from one another and cannot simply be lumped into the same category.