This sort of problem is quite common.

This kind of exercise is very popular.

In the above sentences, the expressions kind of and sort of are used. I'm not sure whether those are the subjects of the above verb or determiners. When translated in the first language, those are regarded as determiners or adjective, but I haven't identified the category of determiner includes those in google.(also including a variety of) Also, I think those might be different according to some situations like the example. So, my question is what those serve as in the above sentences.

  • 1
    No, they're not determiners, but adverbs modifying the following verb or adjective. Note that determiners are dependents of nouns, not verbs or adjectives.
    – BillJ
    May 15, 2022 at 8:55
  • @BillJ Thanks!! you were right! I looked up those in a dictionary. Now, I change example sentences.
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 9:07
  • 1
    Now things are different, but they are still not determiners, and nor are they subjects. "Sort" and "kind" are nouns functioning as heads of the NPs "sort of problem" and "kind of exercise". The of expressions are preposition phrases serving as complement of the head noun. Compare also "type of ...", which has a similar meaning. Note that the demonstrative "this" is a determiner in the NPs.
    – BillJ
    May 15, 2022 at 9:28
  • @BillJ there is a case that a variety of is various in a variety of other devices in my country's English site. Is it right? I think for other is determiner, various other devices is grammatically wrong.
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 9:36
  • @BillJ and why aren't they subjects of verbs? then, what are subjects in the above sentences? Is NPs subjects?
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


[This sort of problem] is quite common.

[This kind of exercise] is very popular.

No: "sort of" and "kind of" not determiners. In fact they are not syntactic units at all, but just parts of ones.

The bracketed elements "this sort of problem" and "this kind of problem" are noun phrases functioning as subjects. They consist of the determiner "this" + "sort/kind" as head noun + "of problem/exercise" as preposition phrases functioning as complement of the head.

  • I have been confused about it for someone who is from my country wrote a determiner phrase with them in first language, not DP in English syntax.
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 11:29
  • I have still difficulties in quantifiers.
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 12:10
  • I asked a question. yet I didn't get any answer in a variety of. I think there are definitely differences between NP and an adjective various in translation
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 12:55
  • @bak1936 "A variety of ..." is analysed the same way as your other examples, where the noun "variety" is head of the NP and the of PP is its complement. "Various" is a marginal member of the determinative category. In "various items are missing", for example, "various" is a determiner.
    – BillJ
    May 15, 2022 at 13:38
  • In determinative category ; files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1045117.pdf
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 15:07

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