Questions tagged [determiners]

A 'determiner' is one of a fixed class of words placed before a noun phrase to indicate its definiteness, quantity, or degree.

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How do I know when to use "the" versus "a" versus "∅" as an article on a noun?

With proper nouns, we don't use the except for river names, newspaper names, etc. I want to know why we use the with White House. I mean, under which rule can we categorize it? What could other ...
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43 votes
10 answers
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"I hate red color" or "I hate red": why exactly is the first option ungrammatical

If a person wants to say that the most hated color for him is red (in general, no specific hues implied), could he say: I hate red color. I've found very little results for this sentence at ...
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16 votes
4 answers
274k views

Is the use of "one of the" correct in the following context?

I want to know what the constraints are on using the phrase one of the. Is it used correctly in this example? He is one of the soldiers who fight for their country.
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8 votes
3 answers
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"Some" and "Any"; countables and uncountable

I'm doing my English homework and my book says these sentences are correct: 1) Do you have any wine? 2) Can I have some water, please? My questions are: These sentences are structured differently. ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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These kind of/ this kind of/those kind of

Which one is the most suitable option for the following sentence and why? I do not like these kind of novels. This kind Those kind This kinds None of the above Please let me know the grammatical ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Can we use "to" before home, if we are using determiners (her, my, your etc.) before home?

I know these sentences are correct: I am going home. I am coming home. I went home. Please let me know, are these sentences also correct or not: I am going to her home. I am ...
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2 votes
5 answers
2k views

"every" vs "each"?

Consider: The ten lucky winners will ................. receive $1,000. A) every B) each The answer in the book is each. As far as I know, every and each are used before singular nouns. I cannot ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Some words starting with vowels, preceded by 'an' instead or 'a' [duplicate]

We've all been taught in primary school how we're supposed to use 'an' instead of 'a' when we talk about an object whose name starts with a vowel, in its singular form. -> An Apple -> An Ostrich-> ...
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

"which" as relative determiner?

Sentence 1: I was told my work was unsatisfactory, at which point I submitted my resignation. Sentence 2:Sometimes you may feel too frail to cope with things, in which case do them as soon as it is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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these organizations or those organizations?

Consider a hypothetical quote: Each day we gather information from manufacturers, distributors, Russian and foreign vendors, research centers. The reliability of the sources is ensured by our ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Determiners: anyone versus someone

Can anyone explain the difference between: "Can anyone answer me " and "Can someone answer me " ?
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18 votes
4 answers
60k views

Can "either" be used for more than two items?

The Judiciary also uses a special type of monitoring through the General Inspection Office and Bureaucratic Justice Court. Additionally, either of the three powers have internal supervision mechanisms....
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

When can we use 'much' in affirmative clauses?

I found the below in Cambridge Dictionary web-site: We use much in questions and negative clauses to talk about degrees of something. We don’t use much in affirmative clauses. Also, it the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Using "the" in this sentence: "I won the first place at the tournament"

Here is the sentence where I am confused as to whether I should put the or not: "I won first place at the tournament" OR "I won the first place at the tournament" Which one is correct ...
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6 votes
2 answers
10k views

time expression + has/have

1 After ten years has passed you can apply for possession of the land. Ten years have passed - ten long, lonely years - since Bill died at sea. I wonder why is there has in first sentence?. I know ...
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5 votes
4 answers
2k views

"We have a game today" vs. "We have the game today"

When I tell people about the football/baseball/soccer/basketball game they are supposed to have today, I say We have a game today. which I think is strange. It is strange that it sounds idiomatic ...
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6 votes
1 answer
44k views

Should the noun be in singular or plural form after "some"?

I usually use the plural form after "some." Example: I bought some books about France But I would also say some source states that France is best toured in fall. Is there a specific grammar ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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which vs what usage

Which determiner, which or what, to use for some situations, like these: What month is it? What school are you attending now? or Which month is it? Which school are you attending now? I ...
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2 votes
3 answers
716 views

I achieved great results - or some great results?

For the last 2 year I've been using the method I described to you, and I achieved (some) great results. Would such sentence look better with or without the determiner some? What would be the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
24k views

Is "I have no much time." correct?

I know "I have no time." is correct. I have no much time. But as to "I have no much time." to mean "not enough time", the sentence seems to have self-contradiction in a sense. Is the sentence ...
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2 votes
1 answer
123 views

When can the determiner 'any' be omitted?

Can I omit any in the following sentence? If I do so, Do they sound natural and grammatical?  Yesterday I had my camera with me, but I did not take any photos. Many grammar books say it is not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

"I bought apples." vs "I bought some apples."

"I bought apples." vs "I bought some apples." Is the first sentence grammatical? If yes, is there any difference in meaning between the two? Somehow I feel that if I am asked "...
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1 vote
2 answers
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This or That person

Today I heard a speaker use the phrase "this person", referring to the subject-person of the story they were telling, and I heard it as (that person). Between the words “this” or “that” in context ...
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0 votes
2 answers
136 views

Usage and omission of "any" with a plural noun in a negative sentence

Is it grammatically necessary to use any in the following sentence? Can I omit any in exams and formal writings in similar sentences and contexts? Yesterday was mothers' day but I did not post (any)...
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0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Countable nouns and determiners

Is using the definite article here in this sentence incorrect? If yes, what's its reason? The word 'chapter' is a count noun. Have you finished the chapter eight of your novel book?
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to use "both"?

A father comes back home from a long journey. He addresses his children complimenting the two of them for having grown up so much. Will he say: "Look how you've grown up both of you!" or rather "Look ...
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96 votes
12 answers
316k views

How do you say 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 in words?

One of the answers in a reading exercise in my class today was: 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 ... which was the value of the highest denomination note ever issued. It was a 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
854 views

Articles: "as leader" -- why not "as the leader"?

Source: AP Exclusive: Afghan Taliban leader claims 'victory' in city Example: The dramatic Taliban assault on Kunduz, a city of some 300,000 — and the boasts of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor — appeared ...
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15 votes
3 answers
1k views

When to use "some" instead of "a"

You were just having some dream. and You were just having a dream. Are both correct? What is the difference, if any?
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is it an option to put an indefinite article before a professional name?

Thanks for checking your forecast out inside WESH.com. I’m (a) meteorologist Eric Burris. -- WESH.com/weather I’ve read that predicative complement “can have the form of an AdjP or of a bare role ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Confused about the order of determiners

the last two books the two last books Like the phrase" the two best friends"(I think) the latter would be correct. ...... my last two books my two last books I am confused which of those could ...
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11 votes
5 answers
450 views

psychologist John Hayes (THE, zero article before false titles)

An example (from The New Yorker) of a phrase with a false title (psychologist John Hayes): After Simon and Chase’s paper, for example, the psychologist John Hayes looked at seventy-six famous ...
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3 votes
2 answers
38k views

If you have any question(s)

What's the difference between the two following sentences? This site says any could also be used with singular nouns in if clauses when it means any kind of. Is it true? Are both following sentence ...
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2 votes
2 answers
255 views

"A little" Vs. "The little" (in reply to "Have you got any money?")

A: Have you got any money? B: Yes, a little A: Have you got any money? B: yes, the little How a little is differ from the little in above context? As far as I know the meaning of "a little" ...
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2 votes
1 answer
5k views

What's the difference between modifiers and determiners?

From The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 519: Genitives, such as Christ’s in [4iv], we take to be modifiers not determiners. They occur readily in names that are themselves ...
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4 votes
2 answers
241 views

No Articles for countable and definable words

Source Have a contractor apply ( ) water proofing material from ( ) grade level down. Why do you think "material" and "level" are without an article?
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

both the men came in -- both men came in

Example with context UPDATE 15/12/2016 (YouTube link broken): I let go of the door. The door opened and both the men came in. Is the grammar correct in that sentence? I've always thought that the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

'not everyone is prepared' : Is 'not' a determiner?

Despite the overnight detention of Thailand's ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and a number of family members and politicians, there are indications today that not everyone is prepared to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
332 views

"which soldier is me!” or “which soldier I am!”

I can’t accurately tell what is the subtlety of the use of “which” in this sentence: “But even my own parents won't be able to tell which soldier is me!” If "which" is considered as a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

"The one" vs "one"

An executed purpose, in short, is a transaction in which the time and energy spent on the execution are balanced against the resulting assets, and the ideal case is one in which the former ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Some vs Little Water in specific cases [duplicate]

I have always used the phrase "some water" and "a little water" interchangeably. Recently I took an English quiz and the question was : Please give me (a little / some) _____ water to drink. I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
804 views

Plural form after zero

I came across this sentence: I have zero friends Why the plurality? Seems pretty counterintuitive to me. Is there a general grammar rule behind it?
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

How do "a little", "a little bit", and "some" modify meaning?

How do the determiners: some, a little and a little bit change the meanings of the sentences below? I can speak some English. I can speak a little English. I can speak a little bit of English.
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1 vote
2 answers
51 views

Noun + number and determiner (page 5, line 2, ...)

When a noun is followed by a number (a numbered noun) do we need an article before it? e.g. page 5 vs the page 5. What is the grammatical term for such groups? I read about other types of numerical ...
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0 votes
2 answers
153 views

Why the writer did not put an article in the following sentence?

"I will take him as ward, if you wish" Why the writer didn't use an article before ward?
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0 votes
3 answers
156 views

Shrubs, weeds and raccoons have reclaimed (the) empty neighbourhoods

From The Economist's article on Detroit's doldrums: Detroit’s population has fallen by 60% since 1950. ... Shrubs, weeds and raccoons have reclaimed empty neighbourhoods. Would it be acceptable ...
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

When can we omit the preposition "of" in such cases?

I'm struggling to understand when we can omit the preposition "of" in cases when we use determiners in English (distributives and quantifiers). I mean we all know that both "half the students were ...
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Any differences between "I didn't have many apples" and "I had few apples"?

We all know that "I had a few apples" and "I had few apples" are different. I wondered what the possible differences would be in the meaning of these two sentences: I didn't have many apples. I ...
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Which is the head in "a number of boys"?

[A number of boys] were absent. (The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, p56) This book says that number is the head of the subject NP, but Angela Downing calls it a "determinative" (that is,...
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3 votes
2 answers
3k views

If you have (any) questions

Do I need to use any in the following sentence? Does any change the meaning of the following sentence? If you have (any) questions on the subject, feel free to ask me. As an English speaker would ...
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