Different Types of Deteminatives

I. Difference Between Determiners and Adjectives

  1. Articles

There are only three examples of articles, and these are: the, a, and an. The article “the” is considered as a definite article because it refers to a particular noun that is mentioned in the text, while the articles “a” and “an” are called indefinite articles because they point out to a class of noun mentioned in the sentence.

The indefinite articles “a” and “an” have the same function, but they are not interchangeable. The former is used if it precedes a noun that starts with a consonant (e.g., a bike; a gadget; a television), while the latter is used if the noun after it starts with a vowel (e.g., an eggplant; an architect; an umbrella).

Sample Sentences:The Eiffel Tower is a romantic destination.

Johnny is an Englishman.

Ethan is studying to be an engineer

2. Quantifiers

As the name suggests, quantifiers are used to express the quantity. It can answer the questions, “How much?” or “How many?” Some examples of quantifiers include: a few, enough, many, a little, most, some, any, and much.

Sample Sentences:

  • I have enough money.
  • We have much time.
  • She has few friends.

3. Demonstratives

This kind of determiners demonstrates and functions as pointers of a particular noun. Basically, demonstratives indicate the position or location of a noun from the point of view of the speaker. Some examples of demonstratives include: this, these, that, and those.

The demonstrative “this” is used for singular nouns that are near the speaker, while “these” is for plural nouns that are also close by. On the other hand, the demonstrative “that” is for a singular noun that is further away, and “those” is for plural nouns that are also far from the speaker.

Sample Sentences:

  • This laptop is mine.
  • That car is my uncle’s.
  • These cookies taste great.

4. Possessives

This type of determiners is used to express possession or ownership of a noun. Possessive determiners are different from possessive pronouns, because possessive pronouns can be independent or can stand alone. Some examples of possessives include: my, his, mine, our, their, and her.

Sample Sentences:

  • This is my car.
  • Is this his house?
  • Her mom is very pretty.

5. Interrogatives

As the term implies, the interrogative determiners are used for asking questions. The three examples of interrogatives are: what, whose, and which.

Sample Sentences:

  • What toppings do you want for your frozen yogurt?
  • Which school do you prefer?
  • Whose baby are you watching?

Week 7: English Grammar so far


Parts of Speech  

 i         Verb                He is ill.                       She left early.               We want to help.

ii         Noun                The dog barked.         Sue won easily.            I love you.

iii         Adjective         He’s very young.         I’ve got a sore knee.     It looks easy.

iv         Adverb            She spoke clearly.      You’re extremely fit.      He works very hard

v         Determinative The dog barked.         I’ve got a sore knee.     We need some milk.

vi         Preposition     He’s in the garden.     It’s from your uncle.       We went to Paris.

vii         Coordinator     We saw Kim and Pat.  Hurry or we’ll be late.     It’s cheap but good.

viii        Subordinator   I know that it’s true.     Ask whether it’s true.     I wonder if it’s true.


For each of the first six of the word classes in [3] there is a corresponding class of phrases whose Head belongs to that class. In the following examples, the phrase is enclosed in brackets and the Head underlined:

[4]       i         Verb phrase                   She [wrote some letters].     He [is still in London].

ii         Noun phrase                   [The new lodgeris here.     [The boss] wants to see [you].

iii         Adjective phrase            It’s getting [rather late].        I’m [glad you could come].

iv         Adverb phrase               I spoke [too soon].              It’s [quite extraordinarilygood.

v         Determinative phrase    I saw [almost everycard.    We’ve [very littlemoney left.

vi         Preposition phrase        They’re [in the garden].       He wrote a book [on sharks].


 Subject and Predicate

A canonical clause consists of a Subject followed by a Predicate. The Predicate is realised by a verb phrase; the Subject is mostly realised by a noun phrase, but there are other possibilities too, most importantly a subordinate clause:

[5]                 Subject                        Predicate

  i         One of his friends     |   called a doctor.                               [noun phrase as Subject]

ii         That he was lying     |   was obvious.                         [subordinate clause as Subject]

Week 1 – Grammatical Abbreviations

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first week of English Grammar and Use. In this first post, I will be sharing (emphasizing 🙂 ) some of the writing conventions adopted in course work book and classroom material. In particular, I will be discussing the abbreviations for grammatical labels.

Grammatical abbreviations are quite useful, especially if you are asked to deconstruct a given sentence — or label the parts of speech, for instance, of a given sentence. Here are some of the conventions used by the Huddleston book:

  • Adj Adjectives
  • AdjP Adjective Phrase
  • AdvP Adverb Phrase
  • C. Comp Complement
  • DP Determinative Phrase
  • N Noun
  • Nom Nominal
  • NP Noun Phrase
  • O Object
  • Od Direct Object
  • Oi Indirect Object
  • P Predicator
  • PC Predicative Complement
  • PP Preposition Phrase
  • Pred Comp . Predicative Complement
  • Prep . Preposition
  • S Subj . Subject
  • V Verb
  • VP Verb Phrase