I could never get a grasp on what is and what isn't a determiner in some cases in English. Grammar books often contain contradicting explanations.

For example, based on the Graeme Kennedy book "Structure and Meaning in English: A Guide for Teachers", plenty of my is the determiner. Chapter there says that plenty of is the phrasal quantifier part of the determiner.

But what if I generalize the phrase, and consider this one: Plenty of my books and of my magazines are rarities ?

Obviously, plenty of is split here, and it isn't really a separate instance of the phrasal quantifier. I would say, the word plenty is the noun, and of X is some modifier. But these two phrases are directly related by generalization, and should fall under the same pattern.

So is Graeme Kennedy's classification wrong? Are there any books that describe determiners more precisely?

And is there really a determiner in this phrase?

  • Is there any reason you have to use of my twice in your example "Plenty of my books and of my magazines..."?
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 10:29
  • I could say of my books and of his magazines. I picked the generalization that is grammatically correct. Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 10:31
  • Then, you don't need to repeat of. Actually plenty of is not split if you follow the coordination rule.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


"My" is the determiner in the sentence. In English, the possessives my, your, etc. are used without articles and so can be regarded as determiners. "Plenty of" is a predeterminer, which you can find explained on page 154 of the teacher's guide you reference.

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