I have studied a grammar rule that states that-

A noun is always preceded by a determiner.


Considering this 'John eats Mango' should be wrong. But I highly doubt it? Because what would I say if I want to state that out of certain choices of fruits John likes to eat mango?

Am I wrong?

  • 4
    Maybe we should make a community entry for "the rule is wrong", to use as a duplicate. It would quickly shoot to #1.
    – jimm101
    Commented Feb 9 at 12:50
  • 3
    A more useful 'rule' is "A singular noun that is countable in the particular context is generally preceded by a determiner."
    – Shoe
    Commented Feb 9 at 13:17
  • 2
    Grammarians talk about "null determiners" in cases where there is no determiner, although that may not encompass all cases where there is no determiner(!) Regardless, not a good rule.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 9 at 13:41
  • 1
    Where did you come across this grammar rule?
    – Joachim
    Commented Feb 9 at 22:52
  • 1
    Please edit to tell more about where you found this rule. Right now the only possible answer is "Nuh-uh," but if you give more info we might be able to address the misunderstanding. For now I'm voting to close with the "show your research or add context" reason; closed questions can be reopened after editing. Commented Feb 9 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


I don't know where you got that rule from but: no, obviously not.

"John eats mango" is a perfectly good sentence, made much clearer if you substitute "meat" for "mango". There needs to be no determiner before "mango". "John" is also a noun, and is not preceded by a determiner.

I suspect what the writer meant to say was: if there is a determiner it always goes before the noun.

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