I have heard the, a, and an referred to as both articles and determiners. Do these two terms mean the same thing, or are there some differences between them? Can a word be an article but not a determiner, and vice versa?
In grammar determiner is the more general category:
- Grammar A modifying word that determines the kind of reference a noun or noun group has, for example a, the, every. See also article.
Wikipedia lists seven common types of determiners:
An article is one type of determiner.
Grammar A determiner (the in English) that introduces a noun phrase and implies that the thing mentioned has already been mentioned, or is common knowledge, or is about to be defined (as in the book on the table; the art of government; the famous public school in Berkshire).
Grammar A determiner (a and an in English) that introduces a noun phrase and implies that the thing referred to is non-specific (as in she bought me a book; government is an art; he went to a public school).
Typically, the indefinite article is used to introduce new concepts into a discourse.
In grammar, not all determiners are articles, but all articles are determiners.