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Determiners & Predeterminers

Determiners are grammar words which come in front of nouns.

Click icon to open a chart with the correct collocations of such words 

Pay attention to the kinds of nouns they go with: countable (singularplural?) or uncountable?

∞  Quantifiers:  ⇓  (a) few, (a) little…

•→Quantifiers: fill in the gaps

•→Determiners & Distributive Pronouns

◊  A very easy intro to articles ↓ Definite [“the”] & Indefinite articles [“a” / “an”]

•  Quizzes …  →[01]←  /  →[02]←  /  →[03]←  /  →[04]←

◊  When to use A, AN, or no article  ↓  [quiz←]

This grammar lesson features one of the most common problems that new English speakers have. There are a couple of very basic grammar rules you can follow to help you know when to use “a,” “an,” or no article.

¤  The Zero Article     •→[01]←   /   •→[02]←  

In general, the zero article is used with proper nouns, mass nouns where the reference is indefinite, and plural count nouns where the reference is indefinite. Also, the zero article is generally used with means of transport (“by plane”) and common expressions of time and place (“at midnight,” “in jail”).

∇   When to use  ↓ ‘THE’ with places

•→ http://www.eslbase.com/grammar/articles

¤   →(AN)OTHER   ↓  (THE) OTHER(S)←   /   →quiz←•

other

¤  Predeterminers

predeterminers

An adjectival word that can stand before an article, a possessive, or another determiner, as all in ‘all the flowers’ or both in ‘both his children.’  There are not many of such words in English so it won’t take you long to learn them, but usage might be kind of tricky.

←distributives
→Quiz ⇐[‘such’ & ‘what’]

Φ→ Pre-determiners can be classified into four types:

•  multipliers  …  twice / five times / ten times

•  fractions  . . .  half / one-third / one-eighth

•  intensifiers … rather / such / quite / what

•  distributives  . . .  all / both

The predeterminers occur prior to other determiners (as you would probably guess from their name). This class of words includes multipliers (double, twice, four/five times . . . .); fractional expressions (one-third, three-quarters, etc.); the words both, half, and all; and intensifiers such as quite, rather, and such.

The multipliers precede plural count and mass nouns and occur with singular count nouns denoting number or amount:

  • This van holds three times the passengers as that sports car.
  • My wife is making double my / twice my salary.
  • This time we added five times the amount of water.

In fractional expressions, we have a similar construction, but here it can be replaced with “of” construction.

  • Charlie finished in one-fourth [of] the time his brother took.
  • Two-fifths of the respondents reported that half the medication was sufficient.

The intensifiers occur in this construction primarily in casual speech and writing and are more common in British English than they are in American English. The intensifier “what” is often found in stylistic fragments: “We visited my brother in his dorm room. What a mess!”

  • This room is rather a mess, isn’t it?
  • The ticket-holders made quite a fuss when they couldn’t get in.
  • What an idiot he turned out to be.
  • Our vacation was such a grand experience.

Half, both, and all can occur with singular and plural count nounshalf and all can occur with mass nouns. There are also “of constructions” with these words (“all [of] the grain,” “half [of] his salary”); the “of construction” is required with personal pronouns (“both of them,” “all of it”). The following chart (from Quirk and Greenbaum) nicely describes the uses of these three predeterminers:

Predeterminers

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