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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66
votes
9answers
35k views

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: “...
135
votes
2answers
899k 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?
70
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6answers
428k 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 ...
3
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2answers
48k views

Should the noun after "any" be singular or plural? [duplicate]

I always thought with "any" I should use the plural, but on the internet I can find both: It can be found in any book. It can be found in any books Do you have any books? It can be said in any ...
95
votes
9answers
388k 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 really ...
21
votes
4answers
39k views

Difference between 'all' and 'all the'

I came across people using all the in sentences instead of all. Select the type of user to view all the users of that type. All the users of the selected role are displayed. I usually strike out ...
12
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6answers
6k views

A battery of tests is/are

This is from a recent article: He was rushed to the hospital immediately and a battery of tests was conducted. Now shouldn't it be He was rushed to the hospital immediately and a battery of ...
78
votes
10answers
161k views

Equivalent of "both" when referring to three or more items?

What would be the correct word to use when referring to three or more items, in the same manner as the word both? For example, using two words, with the word both: "There are several ...
8
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2answers
3k 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 ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Use of "them" as an article, not a pronoun

I've seen a lot of times the pronoun them used like an article. For example, in the title of the Delta Rhythm Boys Them bones, or in the first sentence of "Money for nothing": Now look at them yo-...
3
votes
1answer
561 views

Why is "each row and each column" followed by a singular verb in this sentence?

I am reading a book that contains the following text. A square matrix P is said to be a permutation matrix if each row and each column of P contains a single element 1, and the remaining elements ...
21
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5answers
97k views

"Its" as a Possessive Pronoun

Since its can be both determiner possessive pronoun and nominal possessive pronoun, an example of its as determiner possessive pronoun would be: We saved this question for last because of its ...
10
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3answers
24k 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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3answers
448 views

"He was neither seer nor prophet" How would you explain the absence of an article?

Here's a fragment from Jack London's Star Rover: Wordsworth knew. He was neither seer nor prophet, but just ordinary man like you or any man. What he knew you know, any man knows. But he most aptly ...
8
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2answers
3k 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 "...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Determiner vs. Determinative

In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Huddleston and Pullum use the term "determinative" for the lexical category of words like the, etc. And they use "determiner" for the grammatical ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
3
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1answer
1k views

"All the good people" vs. "all of the good people"

I've heard both of these before. All the good people All of the good people Are they both correct?
12
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2answers
1k views

Can predicative complements not be bare noun phrases in English? That is, are clauses such as “I am student” incorrect?

In Chapter 4 of the book A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar, written by Rodney Huddleston of the University of Queensland and Geoffrey K. Pullum of the University of Edinburgh and published ...
8
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3answers
26k 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 ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Repeating determiners: “the X and (the) Y”

I have a problem with the use of "the" after "and" where you would basically be connecting words. For example, which of the following is better: The table and the chairs? The table and chairs? ...
3
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3answers
836 views

Quantifiers "most" vs. "most of"

I came across this exercise in one of Oxford books. Most / Most of flowers bought at airports are safe, about 90%. Shouldn't we use "most of the" when we are talking about a specific set of ...
35
votes
8answers
120k 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?
18
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7answers
6k views

Why "be king", not "be a king"? [duplicate]

I've heard people say "be king" (as in "I can't wait to be king") in movies and TV. Why don't they say "be a king"? Which is correct?
12
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2answers
1k views

a [box [of apples] ] vs [a box] [of apples]

The standard linguistic analysis of the NP a box of apples is that we have a determiner (a) which acts on (modifies?) box of apples. (For an example of standard analysis, see e.g. Fig. 6 here). ...
2
votes
2answers
936 views

One noun but two determiners?

In this earlier thread titled 'Can I precede a noun with more than one determiner?', the most-voted answer by Barrie England says: Yes, more than one determiner can precede a noun, but they do so ...
7
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1answer
910 views

Are these parts of speech correct? [closed]

Considering the following sentences: Don't listen to those other people. You should always use prefixes with your table names. I have even started using them in normal writing. See how ...
5
votes
3answers
200 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
555 views

When may adjectives precede determiners? (E.g. too difficult a task)

The expression too difficult a task sounds a little pompous, but it doesn't sound ungrammatical. According to my folk-beliefs about English grammar, determiners precede adjectives. However, the ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

'A / One / At least one student entered the room.' Are these the same? (truth-conditionally)

I just wonder if the two following sentences are truth-conditionally the same. Sentence 1 essentially means there existed a student who entered the room, and this situation includes two, three or more ...
2
votes
2answers
724 views

"Those other people": Adjectives vs. determinatives

Given the following sentence: Don't listen to those other people. Are those and other adjectives or determinatives? Both? Which makes more sense? Context: I am prefixing the words in some ...
16
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6answers
50k views

Is there a difference between "way of doing something" and "way to do something"?

Is there a difference between "way of doing something" and "way to do something"? It is on purpose that I did not write "a way of doing something" or "the way of doing something" and "a way to do ...
8
votes
3answers
141k 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?
9
votes
3answers
26k views

Each apple and each orange [has/have]? [duplicate]

For a phrase such as the following: each apple and each orange Is it correct to use "has" or "have" when describing properties of both apples and oranges?
4
votes
2answers
15k views

"I am a legend" vs. "I am legend"

Which sentence makes sense, the first or the second? I am      legend. I am  a  legend.
14
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5answers
6k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes "the" as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary, I read the following definition. (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford ...
7
votes
4answers
44k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Is a determiner considered an adjective or a separate part?

I came across some blogs which states that determiners are types of adjectives (according to traditional grammar), whereas wiki (which I do not entirely trust) indicates some key differences. after ...
3
votes
1answer
22k views

Is "each" an adverb, pronoun, determiner, or what else? [duplicate]

What do Online Dictionaries Say? Cambridge Dictionaries Online says each is used as an adverb in the following examples: There are five leaflets – please take one of each. Each of the brothers has a ...
3
votes
4answers
15k views

'The average person' or 'an average person'?

Which one is correct, or are both of them fine? "It would take the average person 10 days to read this novel" Or "It would take an average person 10 days to read this novel"
5
votes
1answer
13k views

Is there a difference between articles and determiners?

I have heard the, a, and an referred to as both articles and determiners. Do these two terms mean the same thing, or are there some differences between them? Can a word be an article but not a ...
5
votes
5answers
66k views

When to use "this" or "that"?

It is 10 cm on the map. That is 100 km in real terms. I am proofreading and it seems odd that the writer always uses that in these cases. I would have said this. Who is right and who is wrong?
3
votes
2answers
66k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46k views

“These stuff” vs. “this stuff” [closed]

I wrote “I know all these stuff; I don’t have to go over them again” in my writing-exam paper and the teacher corrected it to read, “I know all this stuff; I don’t have to go over it again.” The ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

{This/that vs. these/those} + many + plural noun

From pag 419 of Mastering English An Advanced Grammar for Non-native and Native Speakers: Elsewhere, demonstratives normally serve as determiners (as in that exact moment, this way, etc.). BUT in ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Use of possessive determiners with adjectives

I've read this thread and while it does seem to give me the answer I am looking for, I still wanted to ask a related question. Let's take the following sentences as examples: "He lives in a flat,...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Are “this” and “next” demonstrative determiners?

Question 1: In the following, is this a demonstrative determiner: I will go to the store this week. Question 2: If so, then what class is next in the following: I will go to the store next week....
6
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
1k 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 sense ...