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Determiners

Markers to nouns (noun phrases)

Friends calling
 

 

Determined vs. Bare Nouns

SINGULAR NOUNS

Singular nouns require some kind of marker.  A noun phrase with a marker is called a "determined noun phrase". bird – noun (N) ; a bird – noun phrase (NP)

DETERMINED  (marked)

A friend called. / *Friend called.    (determined NP)

A hair is on your sweater.  (determined count noun)

 

This / that friend called.

These / those hairs on your sweater are blond.

PLURAL & MASS NOUNS

Plural count nouns do not require but can take a determinative marker.  A noun phrase without a marker is called a "bare noun phrase".  Noncount (mass) nouns

BARE  (unmarked)

Friends called. (bare count noun)

Hair makes a guy look young.  (bare noncount noun)
 

DETERMINED (optionally marked)

These / those / some / three friends called.  (optional determinative markers)
Some hair makes a guy look young.

 

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.
determiner –  a function in the structure of a sentence
determinative – a category of words 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Markers

Definite / Indefinite

 

 

 

Basic Markers – adding a specification of "definiteness"

MARKER NAME FUNCTION NOUN PHRASE
IDENTIFIERS      

  1.  the, a

articles

definite / indefinite

I called a friend.   We'll ask the friend (that you called).

  2. this, that, these, those 

demonstratives

definite; near / far; singular / plural

Ask this friend. / Go and ask that friend.  He was calling all night. This angered them.

  3. my, his, boy's

possessive subject determinatives

definite

My friend is here.  My brother's friend is here.  California's history...
 

QUANTIFIERS      

  4. all, both 

universal determinatives

definite; whole quantity

All friends want loyalty.  All your friends called back. 
Both parents called back. Both (of) my parents called back.

  5. each, every

distributive determinatives

definite / indefinite

Each friend called back. (definite group) / Every friend wants loyalty. (indefinite)

  6. some, any

existential determinatives

indefinite; a quantity exists; quantity in part

Some friends called back. / Did any friends called back?

  7. either, neither

disjunctive determinatives

indefinite; alternative (not sure)

Either friend will call back. / Either of my friends will call back.

  8. no (none)

negative determiner

indefinite

Not one friend called back./ None of my friends called back.

  9. another

alternative-additive determiner

indefinite

Another friend called back./ Another of my friends called back.

10. a few, a little, several…

positive paucal / determinatives

indefinite

Few/ A few friends called back. / A few of my friends called back.

11. many, much, few, little

degree determinatives multal

indefinite

Did many friends called back? / Did many of your friends called back?

12. enough, sufficient

sufficiency determinatives

indefinite

We have enough food. /  We have sufficient food.
 

OTHERS      

13. one, two, three

cardinal numerals

indefinite; quantitative

Two friends called back. / Two of my friends called back.

14. which, what, whichever, whatever

interrogative and relative determinatives

indefinite

You can have whatever color you want.  You want which size?  I'll tell you what time we're leaving.   Take which umbrella you prefer.

15. we, you  (us)

personal demonstrative

definite; personal

We kids want to leave. / You people should leave.  (BUT NOT:  "They people should leave" or "He man should leave")

16. such, what

exclamations

indefinite

Such friends are hard to find. / What friends you have!
 

(Huddleston 5.4)  ( Swan 154)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temporal Markers

Last, This & Next

 

 

 

Temporal (time) Markers

LAST THIS NEXT

Words for an earlier time (week) or calendar date (Tuesday, May) are commonly marked with  "last" or "yesterday" for periods within the last day.

Words for a current time (week) or calendar date (Tuesday, May) are commonly marked with  "this".

Words for a later time (week) or calendar date (Tuesday, May) are commonly marked with  "next"  or "tomorrow" for periods within the coming day.

last week  (month, year, decade, century)

this week

next week (month, year, decade, century)

last Tuesday

this Tuesday

next Tuesday

yesterday morning ("the other day")

this morning

tomorrow morning ("on the morrow")

last night

tonight

tomorrow night

tomorrow – c.1275, to morewe, from O.E. to morgenne "on (the) morrow," from to "at, on" (see to) + morgenne, dative of morgen "morning." Written as two words until 16c., then as to-morrow until early 20c.
yesterday – O.E. geostran dæg, from dæg "day" + geostran "yesterday," from P.Gmc. *gestra- (cf. O.H.G. gestaron, Ger. gestern "yesterday," O.N. gær "tomorrow, yesterday," Goth. gistradagis "tomorrow"), originally "the other day" (reckoned from "today," either backward or forward), from PIE *ghes

 

 

 

 

 

Exceptions

Nouns w/o Determiners & Determiners w/o Nouns

 

 

 

Exceptions

NOUNS WITHOUT DETERMINERS

Some singular nouns do not occur with a kind of determiner.

He became president, treasurer, secretary, CEO.  (a title)

He went home, to school, to work.  (a place)

He ate breakfast, lunch, dinner (He ate a snack.)  (a meal)

We'll have to manage day by day,  minute by minute.  (a rate)

Education is the key to success.  (non-count nouns)

We went to Lake Victoria, Bryce Canyon, Mount Kilimanjaro, Alcatraz Island(some geographical features)

 The Queen went from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace (buildings & landmarks) 

DETERMINERS WITHOUT NOUNS

Other determiners can occur alone when the noun is understood from the context.

Do you want some cookies?  I don't want any.   I want a few.

Which do you want?   This is good.

Many fought, but few survived.

All are invited. All are welcome.

None shall escape.  (no + one)

We saw others that we liked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exceptional Agreement

This kind of… / These kinds of…

 

 

Kind / Kinds

KIND

dog kindNouns such as kind, sort, and type, usually occur with a singular determiner. The "these kind of dogs" construction is exceptional.

This kind of dog is lovable. (a single breed)

These kind of dogs are lovable.  (exceptional use – a single breed!)

KINDS

dog kindsOther determiners can occur alone when the noun is understood from the context.

These kinds of dogs are lovable. (more than one breed)

*This kinds of dog are lovable.

 

*not used

Agreement – "The these kind of dogs" construction (Huddleston 5 §3.4)
Sort of, kind of and type of (Swan 551.2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Camping Trip

campsite
 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check 1-10" button.

 

1.
We are going on a trip next week to Lake Shasta.

   

2.
tentWe'll take a tent, our sleeping bags and map.

   

3.
We can buy food and water when we get to the lake.

   

4.
When we arrive, we'll spend couple hours putting our camp together.

   

5.
We have to make sure that we have enough wood to make a fire.

   

6.
We can swim, hike, or fish – whichever activity we like.

   

7.
This lake is known for good fishing

   

8.
With such good fishing, we won't be hungry campers.

   

9.
We'll have good time and return on Sunday night.

   

10.
It's always wonderful feeling to return home and take shower.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Saturday Postal Service

mailbox
 

 

Complete the sentence with a determiner, if needed.

  1. Select the option that best completes the sentence
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check 11- 20" button.

 

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.
has agreed to end

18.

19.

20.