Questions tagged [determiners]

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

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38 views

Difference between make 'an' effort and make 'the' effort [closed]

Consider the following sentence. Yet I still enjoy making ____ (an/the) effort to bake at home from time to time. Here, what is the difference between an and the? Is effort here a specific or common ...
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31 views

"Enough" can't appear in the subject of a negative sentence

Don't use enough (with or without a noun) as the subject of a negative sentence, ✳‘Enough people didn’t come', but ‘Not enough did’. https://www.wordreference.com/EnglishUsage/enough Why is it so? ...
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"every" + possessive + noun

I naively asked a question about the use of "every" with possessives on the ELL thinking there will be a very simple answer. I was pretty sure that saying either Every your thought is ...
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29 views

"the" vs "those" as determiners

I'm editing a draft of a formal speech written by a non-native English speaker in which "those" is repeatedly used as a demonstrative adjective/determiner. My instinct is to change these ...
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3answers
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Both their three cars

Both indicates that the action or state denoted by the verb applies individually to each of two entities. Both books weigh more than five pounds means that each weighs more than five by itself, not ...
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67 views

"A few" + a number : unremarkable quantity [closed]

A few is usually more than two (two often being referred to as "a couple of"), and less than "several". Few emphasises smallness of number, while a few emphasises some: He's a ...
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Serial number/id/reference/label as noun postmodifier?

There are so many novel usages of references, IDs, keys, codes: If we substitute variable a in the equation (3) with string "ABC" at the address 0x801234 as pointed by Smith [SM2005] we ...
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57 views

Does the addition of a second “some” change the meaning of the following sentence?

I’d like know to whether the following sentence retains its nuance and meaning with the addition of “some” before the word “others”. “I’m good at some types of art and bad at others.” “I’m good at ...
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"Sufficient(ly)": quantitative vs qualitative

Garner's reads Though both words were originally used in reference to quantity, adequate now tends toward the qualitative and sufficient toward the quantitative. However, Fowler says As an ...
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2answers
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Recognizing phrases with determiners

I've just started learning syntax, from Jim Miller's Edinburgh introduction. Please answer for Miller's analysis, if possible. Currently, I am concerned I'm being too zealous in recognizing new ...
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61 views

Which is correct: "What lurks underneath ARE our lives," or "What lurks underneath IS our lives"? [duplicate]

I admit, the fact I can't figure this out is embarrassing. I'm not looking to change the wording of the sentence, but rather want an answer to which is the correct verb tense in this exact instance. ...
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The other (one)

Page 55 of A Practical English Grammar reads Normally, other(s) is only used alone if it refers to a noun that has been mentioned before. An exception is the common plural use of (the) others to mean ...
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Meaning of the word "any" in "ineligible for any exemption" [duplicate]

An important legal result hinges on the meaning of the word "any" in this sentence: "If the effect of the domiciliary requirement under subparagraph (A) is to render the debtor ...
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Whatever: pronoun, conjunction or determiner?

I have already learned what is the general difference between conjunctions and conjuncting pronouns, and that is the fact that a pronoun can be a subject or an object in the clause whereas a ...
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Any one thing: syntactic analysis

None remembered any one thing he’d said. How should any one be analyzed here?
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Why is "these" preferred in academic writing to "those?" [closed]

for academic writing The drugs have other inactive ingredients such as galactose, rhodamine, and hexylene glycol. Exactly why these ingredients remain inactive has yet to be determined. Question: Why ...
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A grammatic question about modification

Why can we say "a not very intelligent boy", but not "a not intelligent boy"?
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Using "the" without referring to something before [duplicate]

I was surfing the Internet when I saw this sentence: From there, you can see the beautiful scene where the sunset's reflecting over the ocean. As far as I've known, "the" is used when you ...
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1answer
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Determiner “(a) little” with singular countable words

Page 308 of Practical English Usage reads We use the determiner (a) little with singular (usually uncountable) words. What use with singular countable words is it implying? I know it's always ...
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reference - demonstrative determiner

I bought a pen and a pencil yesterday. What is surprising is this is more expensive than that. In this sentence, I am not sure what "this" and "that" are referring to. I first ...
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1answer
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Determiners in a noun phrase

ALL (determiner) Used with plural nouns. The noun may have the, this, that, my, her, his, etc. in front of it, or a number. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/all_1 Does ...
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"Such-and-such (a)" + singular noun

I've found both versions, She lives in such-and-such a street AND She lives in such-and-such street Are both uses of the determiner? Which is the right one? OED entry for such
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You can ask me any question vs. any questions [duplicate]

I know the answer is any question. But Do you have any questions is right, other than any question. What's the difference here?
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Do I need "the" when refer to something that has its name or label? [duplicate]

I get confused about academic writing. Is it grammatically correct to say: We will propose the X test. The equation (1) is used for solving the problem. The X test is defined in the equation (1). ...
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Are there any mistakes in the following text?

"I want to express my gratitude to all those, from whose hard work and determination I've learned so much and will continue to learn in the future (some of whom I haven't had the pleasure to talk ...
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Does this sentence of Melville lack a verb?

I cannot make much sense of of the following passage from Moby-Dick: It is not the least among the strange things bred by the intense artificialness of sea-usages, that while in the open air of the ...
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Are pronominal adjectives and determiners just different terms to describe the same thing? If not, how do they differ?

I have seen words like "every" and "any", etc. classified both as determiners and pronominal adjectives. Are these just different classifications of the same thing? Or does the ...
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Does the noun "structure" require an article in this case? [duplicate]

Can I write "Structure is key to the clarity of writing" without a determiner before "structure"?
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Can determiners precede pronouns?

Generally, determiners are defined as preceding nouns, but can they also precede pronouns? For example, the word "least" can take a number of forms including adverb, adjective, determiner, ...
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Is this a correct sentence: "It can be more expedient to supplement the diet rather than improve it."?

Question While there may be other issues I'm specifically interested in the use of the word "expedient". To me this sentence sounds off, can something be "more expedient" or is ...
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"Between each" and Other Constructions with Fewer than Two Objects

Page 112 of Garner's fourth edition reads ✳Between each and Other Constructions with Fewer than Two Objects This phrasing is a peculiar brand of illogic, ✳between each house/speech,instead of, ...
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If You Look vs. If You're Looking: When advertising a Product

Is it correct to use "if you look for" instead of "if you're looking for" when promoting a product? "If you look for creamy peanut butter spread, you may message me." I ...
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"Such" as a part of speech, and similar words

The word "such" seems to fit under a few different categories. It could be arguably classified as: A noun - "The movie would only be of interest to such as enjoy mindless explosions ...
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183 views

How to analyze 'last night' and 'last/next week'?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 429) says: Yesterday, today, tonight, and tomorrow are not traditionally analysed as pronouns, but belong in this subclass of nouns by virtue of ...
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Why are there these instances of zero articles with countable nouns? ("of a" construction)

I don't understand the grammaticality of these sentences.I know we always use a determiner before countable nouns but what about these? Is there any rule associated here? 1a) What type of a person is ...
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Determiners: This and that. Has “that” replaced “this”?

I'm confused. As far as I know, this is reserved for something that is right ahead of speakers and/or speakers talk about that item the whole conversation. That is reserved for something that is not ...
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2answers
166 views

Identifying the antecedent of an integrated(restrictive) relative clause

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language has this (Page 1061): In [11], CGEL doesn't analyze the determiner no as part of the antecedent of the relative clause. Let's compare [11] with [11a] and ...
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Is "this last year" proper English?

I've admired @BernieSanders' courage for 20 years and loved getting to know him this last year on the trail. —Pete Buttigieg It seems to mean "in the past twelve months" according to my ...
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The word “which” referring to a “whom”

I’ve lighted on a use of the word “which” that has interested me. “‘Doctor’ means a learned man, which I suppose this man is.” Of course, when we talk or write about people, we use “who” or “...
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190 views

What part of speech is 'enough' in '[Subject] is enough.'?

All the dictionaries I know of classify 'enough' in 'Something is enough.' as a pronoun, not an adjective. Dictionaries such as LEXICO, Oxford Learner's Dictionaries and Collins classify it as a ...
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527 views

The BBC has shown me very little respect

The BBC has shown me very little respect. What is the determiner of the noun phrase very little respect? Is it little or very little? If it's little the adverb very seems to be modifying the ...
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“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”

Think of Star Trek's quote: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” (or “the one”) In the context of Star Trek, does the many/few refer to a specific group of many/few beings or many/...
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Is there an alternative modern approach to the fused-head NP?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 410) defines "Fused-head NPs" as follows: Fused-head NPs are those where the head is combined with a dependent function that in ordinary ...
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Are we to use any with plurals or singulars? [duplicate]

What are the circumstances in which any can be used with a singular and with a plural? Do you have any car? Do you have any cars? For example, commenters have indicated both You cannot ...
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Is 'president' in 'run for president' a bare role NP?

A Student's Introduction to English Grammar says: A bare role NP is a singular NP that is ‘bare’ in the sense of lacking the determiner which would elsewhere be required, and that denotes some kind ...
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217 views

"any of my X" vs "any X of mine"?

What's the difference between "any of my X" and "any X of mine"? My impression, as a non-native speaker of English, is that the latter sounds more formal. I searched COCA Corpus, and I found: any of ...
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When "etc." is followed by "that", does it still require a comma?

Example: The lights, displays, sounds, shakers, etc. that attract the operators' attention to various situations (...) Compared to: The lights, displays, sounds, shakers, etc., that attract the ...
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"a series called" vs. "this series called": what's the difference between the determiners?

I was reading through some writing from a friend which begins with the following: Hello, I have recently begun reading this series called Game of Thrones. (I changed a few personal details but the ...
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Which words have historically had a final n only before a vowel?

In Modern English, the only word that has a final n only before a vowel is a/an: a face an eye In Middle English, there was the pair my/mine: my face mine eye Also, the was then before a vowel. ...
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Using 'that' and 'the' with 'negotiations'

I came across this phrase: I see negotiations have gone as planned. Why is there no article before negotiations? For example: I see the negotiations have gone as planned. I think that the ...

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