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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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?
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 ...
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 ...
70
votes
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 ...
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: “...
43
votes
4answers
158k views

"An other" vs "another"

I just edited this answer on unix.sx. The original sentence was But it won't transform it to an other format. I changed this to But it won't transform it to another format. The second form is ...
39
votes
17answers
8k views

"If I were you, I'd apologise to my/your mum"

I'm stuck with this example which I don't know how to solve: A: I've said bad things to my mum. B: If I were you, I'd apologise to your mum. Is it supposed to be your or my instead? My feeling ...
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?
28
votes
4answers
238k views

Is "both" singular?

Is the following correct? Both of these essentially act as a WebKit wrapper. Or should it be the following? Both of these essentially acts as a WebKit wrapper. Context.
26
votes
7answers
27k views

Is "May I have some drink?" incorrect?

This weekend, I took my family to Arby's to eat. My wife ordered us all some food, and filled the cups with some ice and some soda, then I got some sauce for my sandwich as well as some sauces for ...
24
votes
1answer
80k views

"Alternative to" vs "Alternative for"

I'm wondering whether there is a difference between these two expressions. I never know which one to use. Google seems to return the same amount of results for both, so I suppose there might be a ...
22
votes
2answers
61k views

What are the rules about using 'half of' with plural nouns?

Here are some sentences with 'half of' and plural nouns that I consider to be well-formed: Half of all films are a waste of celluloid. Half of users surveyed said they preferred the old product. ...
21
votes
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 ...
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 ...
19
votes
9answers
74k views

Difference between "without" and "with no"

What is the difference between the usage of without and with no? For example, without sound and with no sound.
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?
18
votes
5answers
44k views

"both the users" or "the both users"?

I keep running into this debate with my thesis advisor. Are both of these forms correct? It can be seen that both the users are able to... or It can be seen that the both users are able to.....
16
votes
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

“These days are over” vs. “those days are over”

Consider a context like the following: There was a time when the United Kingdom and France were the world's foremost political powers, heading empires that spanned every continent. These two ...
14
votes
6answers
4k views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
940 views

Is "How and why child is become criminal" proper English?

My friend is writing a paper for his Criminal Justice class and has asked me to take a look the the rough draft and point out any grammatical errors that I can spot. The first thing that jumped at ...
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
22k views

"That" vs "It" as Anaphoric Determiners

What are the specific uses and differences of "it" and "that" in anaphoric reference? Sometimes they can be used interchangeably and sometimes they can't. I am teaching back referencing as a ...
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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
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-...
12
votes
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). ...
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
56k views

"For both X and Y" or "both for X and Y" or ...?

Which of these forms is correct? X will be used both for Y and Z X will be used for both Y and Z X will be used both for Y and for Z Other...
11
votes
3answers
89k views

"At the time" versus "at that time"

If I want to say that during the accident there were no passengers, how do I phrase it? There were no passengers at the time. There were no passengers at that time.
11
votes
5answers
421 views

What is the radical difference between ‘this’ and ‘a’ when telling a story?

The following quotation is a line from Ron to Harry after the first stage of the Triwizard Tournament. (p359, Harry Potter 4, US edition) “You were the best, you know, no competition. Cedric did this ...
10
votes
9answers
13k views

Term used to describe a person who predicts future outcomes [closed]

There are people out there who try to predict future outcomes for certain areas like crops, events, etc... It's all logic-based and determined by their perception of previous years data. No ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I precede a noun with more than one determiner?

Is there a rule that a noun would take only one determiner at most? For example, according to “Determiner” at EnglishLanguageGuide.com, both both and the are determiners. Can I write an expression ...
10
votes
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

Can you use "many, many" in this way?

Suppose I want to use the phrase "many, many" to compound the "maniness" of the thing I'm describing. There are many, many people. The people (of which there are many, many) The ...
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?
9
votes
2answers
9k views

"Any" with countable nouns in questions

I have seen "is “any” also used with plurals", which explains that any can be used with singular, plural, and uncountable nouns. However, I want to ask specifically about questions. E.g.:...
9
votes
3answers
32k views

What's the difference between "another" and "other"? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My another account” vs. “my other account” Sometime it's vague for me when to use other vs another. For example, You need to buy other book ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is determiner 'a' needed in "one would call such a value a constant"?

I read the following in a computer programming book: In other languages, one would call such a value a constant. However, the following appears grammatical: In other languages, one would call ...
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?
8
votes
2answers
63k views

Which is correct: 'as beautiful as her' or 'as beautiful as she'?

From what I have understood from reading about she/her, I understand that 'she' is to be used as a subject (with the 'be' implied) and 'her' as an object, but I am confused about the usage with ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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 "...
8
votes
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 ...
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....
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Why is this sentence: "Additional nine features were added…" incorrect?

I am trying to explain to a colleague why the sentence: Additional nine features were added to the dig is incorrect. I have said you can say "An additional nine features...", "Nine additional ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

Use of determiners as adjectives

In a grammar book that I'm reading, an adjective is defined as: A word that modifies a noun or a pronoun. (To modify is to limit or point out or describe: that book; another chance; the blue ...
7
votes
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 ...
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 ...

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