In sentences like

One of the criteria is experience.

It was one of the several objects that were sold at the auction.

is one a pronoun or determiner?

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries cites similar examples for both pronoun and determiner.

  • Here, the cardinal numeral "one" is a determinative in partitive 'fused' determiner-head NPs: "One criterion of the set of criteria" / "One object of the set of several objects".
    – BillJ
    Apr 11, 2019 at 8:53
  • To be more clear, my styleguide says numerals less than 10 should not be spelt out.; however, the pronoun "one" shall be retained in words. I felt it odd to write "1 of the criteria". If this is how it should be written, would you write "none of the criteria..." to "0 of the criteria"? Looks odd to me.
    – Arun
    Apr 13, 2019 at 7:42
  • 1
    I wouldn't follow that too closely, Arun. I would only use numerals if they are definitely being used as such. For instance: "I'll take room number 4, please"; "Put 2 cups of flour into a bowl"; "The square of 2 is 4 and pi is a little larger than 3 so the area is just over 12 square cms" or "He's adding 1 and 1 and getting 3" (which is a way of saying that he's drawing unjustified conclusions). The British Council website says that determiners are words so you are right to spell them out as well.
    – BoldBen
    Apr 15, 2019 at 8:13

1 Answer 1


They are both determiners of type 4 in the dictionary entry under your determiners link. That is both the criteria and the objects sold in auction are groups of which the specific items are members. They are similar to the examples:

One of my friends lives in Boston.

One place I'd really like to visit is Bali

I looked at the examples under your pronouns link but I can't see any which seem to be similar to me. If you can say which of the pronoun links you find confusing we can probably help to clarify the situation.

  • I meant Sense 3 of oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/american_english/….
    – Arun
    Apr 13, 2019 at 7:39
  • 1
    @Arun In the first example under Sense 3 "It's a present for one of my children" the child is not specified. In the second "We think of you as one of the family" the position in the family is not specified, indeed could not be specified. This is different from the cases you have included in the question. In the first "One of the criteria is experience" the specific criterion is specified and in the second "It was one of the several items sold in the auction" the position of 'it' in the list of items, although not specified, could have been specified. This is why they are determiners.
    – BoldBen
    Apr 14, 2019 at 0:32
  • Thank you, @BoldBen Please see my comment in OP also.
    – Arun
    Apr 14, 2019 at 3:15

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