Determiners are noun-modifiers that convey the reference of a noun without delineating its characteristics [as adjectives do].

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“Which” vs. “what” — what's the difference and when should you use one or the other?

Most of the time one or the other feels better, but every so often, "which" vs. "what" trips me up. So, what's the exact difference and when should you use one or the other?
41
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17answers
5k views

“If I were you, I'd apologise to my/your mum”

I'm stuck with this example which I don't know how to solve A: I've said bad things to my mum. B: If I were you, I'd apologise to your mum. Is it supposed to be your or my instead? My feeling ...
37
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7answers
12k views

Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: ...
32
votes
9answers
60k views

“A few” vs. “few”

I have few friends. I have a few friends. I thought "few" means just one, two or even none. "A few" typically means more than two. However it seems to me some people say "few" when they ...
25
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7answers
6k views

Is “May I have some drink?” incorrect?

This weekend, I took my family to Arby's to eat. My wife ordered us all some food, and filled the cups with some ice and some soda, then I got some sauce for my sandwich as well as some sauces for ...
23
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6answers
76k views

Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”?

Bob: "Can I set the font color? Can I customize the text?" Frank: "Neither of these options is available. Sorry!" Is "neither is" always correct or should one use "neither are" in some cases and ...
19
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8answers
20k views

Equivalent of “both” when referring to three or more items?

What would be the correct word to use when referring to three or more items, in the same manner as the word both? For example, using two words, with the word both: "There are several ...
16
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4answers
30k views

“Its” as a Possessive Pronoun

Since its can be both determiner possessive pronoun and nominal possessive pronoun, an example of its as determiner possessive pronoun would be: We saved this question for last because of its ...
16
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7answers
3k views

Why “be king”, not “be a king”? [duplicate]

I've heard people say "be king" (as in "I can't wait to be king") in movies and TV. Why don't they say "be a king"? Which is correct?
14
votes
1answer
11k views

What are the rules about using 'half of' with plural nouns?

Here are some sentences with 'half of' and plural nouns that I consider to be well-formed: Half of all films are a waste of celluloid. Half of users surveyed said they preferred the old product. ...
13
votes
4answers
701 views

Is “How and why child is become criminal” proper English?

My friend is writing a paper for his Criminal Justice class and has asked me to take a look the the rough draft and point out any grammatical errors that I can spot. The first thing that jumped at ...
13
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4answers
23k views

“An other” vs “another”

I just edited this answer on unix.sx. The original sentence was But it won't transform it to an other format. I changed this to But it won't transform it to another format. The second form ...
12
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4answers
2k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the” as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford American Dictionary), I read: ...
11
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8answers
39k views

Do “in future” and “in the future” imply different meanings?

Do in future and in the future imply different meanings? If so, using which one is grammatically correct?
11
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4answers
857 views

“Employee” in the phrase “employee ID” is a determiner, not an adjective—right?

I am a software developer with a bit of a linguistic slant. We were recently given some training on how to name database fields and were told to avoid adjectives in names. Then we were given an ...
10
votes
7answers
10k views

Difference between “without” and “with no”

What is the difference between the usage of without and with no? For example, without sound and with no sound.
10
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5answers
295 views

What is the radical difference between ‘this’ and ‘a’ when telling a story?

The following quotation is a line from Ron to Harry after the first stage of the Triwizard Tournament. (p359, Harry Potter 4, US edition) “You were the best, you know, no competition. Cedric did ...
9
votes
2answers
505 views

Can I precede a noun with more than one determiner?

Is there a rule that a noun would take only one determiner at most? For example, according to “Determiner” at EnglishLanguageGuide.com, both both and the are determiners. Can I write an expression ...
9
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6answers
640 views

A battery of tests is/are

This is from a recent article: He was rushed to the hospital immediately and a battery of tests was conducted. Now shouldn't it be He was rushed to the hospital immediately and a battery ...
9
votes
1answer
8k views

“Alternative to” vs “Alternative for”

I'm wondering whether there is a difference between these two expressions. I never know which one to use. Google seems to return the same amount of results for both, so I suppose there might be a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

“Any” with countable nouns in questions

I have seen "is “any” also used with plurals", which explains that any can be used with singular, plural, and uncountable nouns. However, I want to ask specifically about questions. ...
9
votes
2answers
226 views

Can you use “many, many” in this way?

Suppose I want to use the phrase "many, many" to compound the "maniness" of the thing I'm describing. There are many, many people. The people (of which there are many, many) The first one ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is there a clear delineation between the usages of 'this' and 'that' in American English?

One of my linguistics professors speaks English as a second language, and remarked that she never knows which of the two is appropriate. Given a list of examples, all native speakers in the classroom ...
7
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1answer
648 views

Is “any” also used with plurals?

I found on a research paper the following statement: Is any particular images satisfying the requirements ? I thought any can only be used with singular terms. So I was surprised when I've seen ...
6
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4answers
40k views

“Many people” vs. “much people” — which one should be used?

There's so many people in here! There's so much people here! Which one should be used, and why?
6
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2answers
5k views

Which is correct: 'as beautiful as her' or 'as beautiful as she'?

From what I have understood from reading about she/her, I understand that 'she' is to be used as a subject (with the 'be' implied) and 'her' as an object, but I am confused about the usage with ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Why is this sentence: “Additional nine features were added…” incorrect?

I am trying to explain to a colleague why the sentence: Additional nine features were added to the dig is incorrect. I have said you can say "An additional nine features...", "Nine additional ...
6
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5answers
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Use of determiners as adjectives

In a grammar book that I'm reading, an adjective is defined as: A word that modifies a noun or a pronoun. (To modify is to limit or point out or describe: that book; another chance; the blue ...
6
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7answers
3k views

Is the phrase “Like many another” correct in standard English?

I've come across "like many another" in a GMAT question. Its use is similar to "Like many other" e.g. "Like many another in his class, John is thirteen years old." It has 1M hits in google (compare ...
6
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3answers
5k views

Can “another” be used with plural nouns provided periods or measurements don’t count?

Merriam-Webster says about another the following: being one more in addition to one or more of the same kind —http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/another However, I come across such ...
6
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1answer
2k views

“That” vs “It” as Anaphoric Determiners

What are the specific uses and differences of "it" and "that" in anaphoric reference? Sometimes they can be used interchangeably and sometimes they can't. I am teaching back referencing as a ...
6
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3answers
16k views

What's the difference between “another” and “other”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My another account” vs. “my other account” Sometime it's vague for me when to use other vs another. For example, You need to buy other ...
6
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3answers
3k views

Difference between 'all' and 'all the'

I came across people using all the in sentences instead of all. Select the type of user to view all the users of that type. All the users of the selected role are displayed. I usually strike ...
5
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2answers
411 views

What are “a” and “certain” adding in meaning to the phrase “a certain Mr. Ripley”?

Consider the following sentences: I had my identity stolen by Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a certain Mr. Ripley. In what ...
5
votes
2answers
690 views

Can anyone explain the use of determiners in this passage?

Can someone explain the use of determiners (words like some or the) for the word beans in the following dialogue: Aki: Lisa, here're some beans. Lisa: Why are you giving me beans? Aki: ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

Are “this” and “next” demonstrative determiners?

Question 1: In the following, is this a demonstrative determiner: I will go to the store this week. Question 2: If so, then what class is next in the following: I will go to the store next ...
5
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2answers
157 views

How to analyze lightly varying senses of adjective *very*

Use of very as an adjective is (in my experience) most frequently attested in phrases like ...the very person I was looking for. To use adjective very with the indefinite article sounds quite ...
4
votes
2answers
308 views

What should I use between “triple” vs. “all”?

If I have 2 pens and I want to say all of them are green, I can say "Both of them are green" but if I have 3 pens should I use "Triple of them are green" or "All of them are green"?
4
votes
2answers
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“For both X and Y” or “both for X and Y” or …?

Which of these forms is correct? X will be used both for Y and Z X will be used for both Y and Z X will be used both for Y and for Z Other...
4
votes
3answers
301 views

“So many weapons and armor!” What is wrong with this sentence? And how would one fix it?

The sentence rings false in my head. Clearly this is because "weapons" is a countable noun, and "armor" is an uncountable noun. So one could fix this sentence by breaking it up into two clauses (e.g. ...
4
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3answers
6k views

“… things like this.” vs. “… things like that.”

Yesterday on talk radio an interviewee speaking about Sudanese Northerner's being forced into the mountains and away from their farmlands by the Sudanese Army said the result was: The men would ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

“At the time” versus “at that time”

If I want to say that during the accident there were no passengers, how do I phrase it? There were no passengers at the time. There were no passengers at that time.
4
votes
1answer
304 views

Determiner vs. Determinative

In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Huddleston and Pullum use the term "determinative" for the lexical category of words like the, etc. And they use "determiner" for the grammatical ...
4
votes
2answers
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Usage of “same” vs. “selfsame”

I have been wondering in my head when is it more appropriate grammatically and more appropriate in terms of the English language to use word selfsame instead of same. The research that I have done ...
4
votes
3answers
839 views

“A different one” when we have 3 objects - other/another? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can “another” be used with plural nouns provided periods or measurements don’t count? Here is the context (found in a forum for learners of English) WAITRESS: Do you ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

“Both which” or “both of which”

"This can be done using the technique of Peters, and using the technique of Matthews, both which involve mathematics" Having searched both which and both of which in Google, it appears both of which ...
4
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4answers
912 views

“Most” vs. “most of”

During most of history, humans were too busy to think about thought. Why is "most of history" correct in the above sentence? I could understand the difference between "Most of the people" and ...
4
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3answers
609 views

When is it appropriate to use 'the' instead of a possessive determiner?

I was with someone today and we were talking about a woman, and she said: "Wow, the husband must be so proud." I was confused as to which was correct or more appropriate as opposed to: "Wow, ...
3
votes
3answers
266 views

“Which” or “where”?

A question of mine on another SE site was corrected from: I am trying to determine where on Earth has the lowest gravity. To: I am trying to determine which on Earth's surface has the lowest ...
3
votes
1answer
970 views

“Minutes later” vs. “a few minutes later”

Can I say this: I forgot about it minutes later. Or do I have to say it this way instead: I forgot about it a few minutes later.