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

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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: ...
29
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2answers
84k views

“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?
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7answers
3k 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 ...
21
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6answers
42k 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 ...
20
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9answers
15k 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 ...
13
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4answers
637 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 ...
12
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1answer
4k 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. ...
11
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4answers
625 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
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5answers
237 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
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2answers
382 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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2answers
158 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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7answers
13k 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?
8
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2answers
779 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 ...
8
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1answer
4k 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k 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. ...
6
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7answers
1k 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 ...
5
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4answers
7k 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 ...
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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 ...
5
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2answers
294 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
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3answers
2k 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 ...
5
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2answers
479 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
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1answer
808 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 ...
5
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3answers
6k 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 ...
5
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2answers
123 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 ...
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4answers
22k 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?
4
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1answer
309 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 ...
4
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3answers
461 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
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4answers
2k 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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3answers
369 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
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3answers
198 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
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2answers
5k views

“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...
3
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2answers
2k 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 ...
3
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1answer
776 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.
3
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2answers
30 views

What happens to articles in phrases “a bit <adjective> <noun>”?

Consider the phrase "I'm doing this for a bit different reason." The grouping here is "((a bit) different) reason" and not "a ((bit different) reason)", so the noun "reason" lacks an article. Does ...
3
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2answers
123 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
723 views

“Mostest” vs. “most” [closed]

What is the difference between mostest and most? Can they be used interchangeably?
2
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2answers
149 views

Is it correct to say “which is Jay”?

I've been watching the movie "King Arthur", and I heard Arthur asking "Which is X?" Is it correct to say "Which is Jay?" instead of "Who is Jay?"?
2
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3answers
9k views

“At this time” vs “At that time”

Is it acceptable to use "at this time" when referring to a specific point in time in the past? While in the process of telling a story, for example, that happens completely in the past? To me it just ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Missing articles?

Aren't some articles missing in the following sentence? ... when traditional pattern of landscape became established. Or is it something else that is wrong with this sentence? Context.
2
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2answers
2k views

“Any” or “some” in various questions?

I'm wondering why I always hear "some" in questions, although according to English grammar there should always be "any". At least the one I'm looking at uses "some". For example: Why are some ...
2
votes
1answer
299 views

Predicate inner components in sentence (object without determiner)

I'm working on a computer program that might output the following sentence: Analyst Mark Mahaney upgraded rating on Apple to Buy Is that sentence valid in English? (That is, nothing betwen the ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Is “the many” grammatical? [closed]

The homework is as following As it stands, our rule allows just one determiner in an NP. NP → (D) (AdjP+) N (PP+) (CP) (PP+) How can we revise this rule to account for the following data: ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Parse tree of “several more successful books”

Let us consider the following sentence: After that first attempt, she wrote several more successful books. Does this mean she wrote several additional books that were also successful? Or that ...
2
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2answers
96 views

Plural indefinite pronouns?

Can some indefinite pronouns be plural? One commenter on Mr K's Grammar World says they cannot. He also says the following examples contain quantifiers, and not indefinite pronouns. Many have ...
2
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1answer
380 views

Possessive pronouns vs possessive determiners

If my understanding is correct, the possessive personal pronouns (which are mine, thine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs) are used in place of nouns, whereas the possessive determiners (which ...
2
votes
3answers
283 views

“My latest five novels” or “my five latest novels”?

Is it okay to say "my latest five novels" when I want to express "five of my latest novels"? As far as I know, "five" is a postdeterminer, so it precedes an adjective (except for ...
2
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1answer
173 views

“Do you like my present” vs. “do you like your present”

When my daughter received the present I bought to her, I asked her: Do you like my present? Is this correct? Or I should say: Do you like your present?
2
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1answer
132 views

Can I use “any” with singular noun in formal English?

As far I as I remember, "any" and "some" are used with plural nouns or uncountable ones. I know about exceptions for "some" (Wow, some car). But can I say the following and be grammatical: Is ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Are “this” and “next” demonstrative determiners?

In the following, is this a demonstrative determiner: I will go to the store this week. If so, then what class is next in the following: I will go to the store next week. It seems that ...
2
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2answers
4k views

“They all are fine” vs. “they are all fine” [closed]

The situation is that someone asks me how my family are; I then want to answer that they all are fine. I want to know whether the sentences "They all are fine." and "They are all fine." have the ...