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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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A half or half - adjective or noun word

I was reading the meaning of the term "crescent" on internet, and I spotted a part in it that led me to confusion, the definition is the following one; A curved shape that has two narrow ...
PROCESIONES CELESTES's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is ‘the’ used before a number as determiner, when ‘all’ is used before them? [duplicate]

I want to write this sentence in a paper: All the three characters also have their counterparts in ASCII, where all the three characters refers to the aforementioned three characters out of a bigger ...
Guanyuming He's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
644 views

Prepositions after, before etc. as temporal determiners

Huddleston and Pullum's CGEL (2002, pg. 356 footnotes) identifies last and next as (potential) members of the determinative category when used in temporal deictic expressions such as last week, next ...
Kyle F. Hartzenberg's user avatar
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Is 'the' a determiner or a part of the proper noun head? [duplicate]

Is the in eg. The Gambia, The Guardian, The ICJ, The United States,... considered a determiner or is it a part of the proper noun?
serendipity's user avatar
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Is there premodification in this noun phrase "too many victims"

I have to analyze the noun phrase "too many victims" but I somehow can't figure out whether "too many" is a determiner or premodification. Given the fact too is an adverb and many ...
Alex's user avatar
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When is "some" used as plural and when is it used as singular?

I am trying to explain to an ESL student how to understand when to treat "some" as plural and when to treat it as singular. One clear rule is when "some" is the subject followed by ...
Leanne Bellamy's user avatar
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2 answers
343 views

Does the part of speech of "said" differ between dialects?

Note: This is similar to, but not a duplicate of, an old question on Linguistics SE. Consider these two sentences: One employee accused him of serious crimes, but said employee did not provide any ...
alphabet's user avatar
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Why is "each" ungrammatical in "It’s an insult to us each"?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Pages 427-28) has this: Universal personal pronouns of the type us all [6] i a. They’ve invited us all. b. It’s an insult to us both. ii a. She likes ...
JK2's user avatar
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Part of speech of 'next' in 'next door'

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 356) says this in a footnote: There is also a minor use of such that belongs with the determinatives: see §12. We might also include last and next ...
JK2's user avatar
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Is ‘ask them to both be there’ or ‘they both will be there’ ever grammatical?

I am trying to articulate how to position the determiner/predeterminer ‘both’ behind the nouns being modified. Every rule that I came across on a cursory search involves some unspecified exception, so ...
ryang's user avatar
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Which determiner is correct, "this" or "the" in "this/the same key"?

I am helping a friend edit a manuscript for an informal reference book about music. There are occasional instances where determiners are being used in a way that I find unfamiliar or awkward. I'm ...
JYelton's user avatar
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Is referencing a real instance of a noun the primary function of determiners as a word class?

In almost every case where a determiner/article is used, the noun phrase references an instance of the noun, either imagined or existing. Generally, the opposite is true; noun phrases without ...
Ubu English's user avatar
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Generic "a man" versus plural "men" in English

In English, is there any difference between the following two? A man never enjoys his authority being questioned. Men never enjoy their authority being questioned.
blackened's user avatar
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Counter-intuitive usage of articles: "the" and "a"

Some examples needing an explanation, thank you for the help. "I came up with (an) idea, we can do..." We should use "an", shouldn't we? But why, if we have a specific idea ...
gelerum's user avatar
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"Both" followed by two things, one of them being a plural

"Both" is used to talk about two things (and not more), but what if one of these things is itself a plural? For instance: Both the children and the teacher were unhappy about the situation. ...
Arthur's user avatar
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What Is the Function of the Determinative in the Construction 'They were all visiting their families' according to CGEL?

In Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL), Huddleston and Pullum talk about 'universal determinatives' (pp.374–378), 'both' and 'all.' They also talk about the 'distributive determiner' '...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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What was more frequent in Early Modern English: "How many a man who was ..." or "How many men who were ..."?

In A Plea for Captain John Brown, Thoreau writes: How many a man who was lately contemplating suicide has now something to live for! Phrases ... many countable-noun-in-plural ..., e.g. How many men ...
John Smith's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
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What explains the restrictions on determinative "you"?

As Huddleston & Pullum note, "you" can sometimes be used as a determiner: You idiots never learn. I'll never understand you idiots. But this generally can't occur in the singular: *...
alphabet's user avatar
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What is the feature/state/type of a noun made "real" with a determiner?

How do you call the feature/type/state of a noun which has been made "actual/real" with a determiner etc. as opposed to without it: Car [in the dictionary] A/the/my/this... car. I read &...
دولة فلسطين's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why are anywhere, everywhere, somewhere and nowhere determiners?

The post was edited. The present question was a tangent to the original question, so please excuse the windy logic. In The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Huddleston and Pullum (2002) ...
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Determiner Problem [closed]

I wrote a sentence. "People play many dangerous sports. The sports can harm them a lot." In this sentence, "The sports" refers to "many dangerous sports" in my first ...
Kazi Abdul Mohite's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
162 views

What is it called when indefinite pronouns are used as determiner?

AFAIK it is correct English grammar to say something along the lines of Familiarize yourself with everything Apple. What is this use of "everything" called? Is it just a short colloquial ...
leonheess's user avatar
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Is it 'a bright orange of the sunrise' or 'the bright orange of the sunrise'?

Wisconsin, where the hills roll like green waves to the horizon, where the cheese is a bright / the bright orange of the sunrise, and the winters are long and dark as death. (Source: Dungeons & ...
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Is “History of Flight” correct when referring only to one specific flight? [duplicate]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) writes incident and accident reports, mostly involving aircraft. In all their reports, there is a section titled “History of Flight.” That section gives ...
Charles Nicholson's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
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Capitalisation of "The" in a colloquially abbreviated proper noun [closed]

If you've got a company/venue name with "The" in it, e.g. "The Royal Hotel", you'd always capitalise the "The". Now imagine you colloquially call it "The Royal",...
valoukh's user avatar
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Modifiers denoting colour, provenance, and composition in a fused-head noun phrases

In section 9.3 Fusion of internal modifier and head, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 417) says: (d) Modifiers denoting colour, provenance, and composition [25] i Henrietta likes ...
JK2's user avatar
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-1 votes
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How to use multiple "their" word?

How to use multiple "their" word ? For example, in the sentence "parents and their children are criminals and their accomplices respectively", does the latter word "their"...
Stechavy's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
501 views

Is "many" grammatically viable in front of plural-only nouns?

There are certain nouns in English that are plural only and have no singular equivalents. Some such as trousers, scissors, pajamas, pantyhose, shears, binoculars, headphones, etc. can be singularized ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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"these which" vs "the ones that" [duplicate]

I'm writing a research grant proposal and it was suggested to me that I replace words "these which" by "the ones that" in reference to scientific journals. Here is the full ...
Blazej's user avatar
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Can the predeterminer "half" comfortably occur before plural nouns without determiners?

So "half" belongs to a special class of words known as "predeterminers", those that can occur before determiners: Half a century Half the people in this company can't speak a ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why can't "any" be used as subject in negative sentences, while "no" can?

Why is it that any cannot be used as subject in negative sentences, while no can? An example pair of sentences might be: No children came. Any children didn't come. Please note that the following ...
Matěj Vais's user avatar
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31 views

Is "all the above" a valid phrase to use in a sentence? [duplicate]

I have just discovered such a wonderful thing as determiners. I did a little digging and found out a lot about the stuff, but there is one thing that still confuses me. Is "all the above" a ...
Rogue Diary's user avatar
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What is the more precise name for the noun-phrase 'The Native' / 'The American'? [duplicate]

Been having a nightmare with this: in a phrase such as 'The native knows all this, and laughs to himself every time he spots an allusion to the animal world in the other's words' (Franz Fanon), or '...
LPEnglish's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
230 views

What type of determiner does ‘certain’ belong to? What is the function of this type of determiner? Why do we need to use this meaningless word?

Cambridge Dictionary has a definition of ‘certain’ as a determiner. certaindetermineruk /ˈsɜː.tən/ us /ˈsɝː.tən/B1particular but not named or described: However, neither in the Wikipedia article nor ...
Eagle's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is 'so much as' an adverbial modifier in this example?

He took my money without so much as a thank you. In this sentence, is 'so much as' an adverbial modifier (adjunct) of the indefinite article (determiner) 'a'? Or can we interpret it as a correlative ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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I find it awkward to say I live in the China but not I live in the Philippines or I live in The USA. What is the rule for this? [duplicate]

It is awkward to say "I live in the China", but not "I live in the Philippines" or "I live in The USA". The determiner 'the' of the sentences all precede a proper noun ...
elmer's user avatar
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0 answers
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Can neither being used in a nominal sentence (no verb)?

So I've had a debate with a friend about the sentence: Good promotions don't expire, neither grammar. (I know it doesn't make logical sense, this is from an ESL discount campaign, in my country, for ...
Eleni K's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
148 views

Capitalize "the" when referring to publications as physical objects? [duplicate]

There are plenty of questions on Stackexchange and the web about when to capitalize "the" in titles like "The New York Times." But most of those questions have to do with referring ...
airfoyle's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
645 views

Difference between make 'an' effort and make 'the' effort

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 ...
tofuthefirst's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
104 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? ...
GJC's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
122 views

"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 ...
fev's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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"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 ...
bigchomp's user avatar
-5 votes
3 answers
166 views

Both their three cars [closed]

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 ...
GJC's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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"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 ...
GJC's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
217 views

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 ...
gavenkoa's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
user428883's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
96 views

"Sufficient(ly)": quantitative vs qualitative [closed]

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 ...
GJC's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
syntax_n00b's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
Jamie's Going Crazy's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
335 views

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 ...
GJC's user avatar
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