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What part of speech are

  • the
  • a
  • my
  • that
  • your
  • each
  • every

etc, or what category do they fall under?

The reason I am asking this is that I am programming a sentence generator, and my sentence structure looks a bit like this:

[noundesc] [adj][0 to 2] [noun] [verb-ed]or[verb-s] [noundesc] [adj][0 to 2] [noun]

Actually, this is just one of the sentence variations, but I'm just using it as an example. Right now I'm referring to them as "noundesc"s (short for "noun describers"), because I don't have a good name.

I have found that "this," "that," "these," and "those" are called demostrative pronouns, but that does not encompass all of these words.

What is a name for these types of words? I need a name so I can search for a list of them, which I will use in my sentence generator. Are these just special kinds of adjectives, and if so, is there any special name for them?

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closed as off-topic by Janus Bahs Jacquet, Benyamin Hamidekhoo, Ste, p.s.w.g, user49727 Dec 7 '13 at 0:46

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Janus Bahs Jacquet, Benyamin Hamidekhoo, Ste, p.s.w.g, user49727
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@down/close voter: how is this general reference? I tried searching but could not find anything (other than demonstrative pronouns) – Doorknob Dec 5 '13 at 1:00
Doorknob, I don't want to seem rude, but you seem to have embarked on this without doing any basic research. There are any number of modern grammars available. – Colin Fine Dec 5 '13 at 1:19
@ColinFine I understand where you're coming from (10k+ user on SO myself), but I don't really see where I could have found this. Could you point me to a search or a resource where I could have found what these are called, so I can use it in the future? – Doorknob Dec 5 '13 at 1:22
@ColinFine Thanks; what Google search did you use to find that? I couldn't find any pages like that... – Doorknob Dec 5 '13 at 1:31
up vote 5 down vote accepted

These are determiners. Determiners were traditionally classified as adjectives, but more modern theories of grammar set them aside as a separate category.

Determiners include articles (a / an and the), demonstratives (this / these and that / those), possessives, and quantifiers among others.

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