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    Determiners versus adjectives

    Are determiners categorized as adjectives. In other words, are determiners a subdivision of adjectives?

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    Re: Determiners versus adjectives

    Yes. :)

    (Shortest answer I've ever given here!)

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    Re: Determiners versus adjectives

    Actually - sorry, but - no, they are not! They are fundamentally separate classifications.

    An ADJECTIVE is a member of a traditional form-class - the simplest, most basic way of dividing up words according to their normal/'canonical' grammatical function. Although in former times the term embraced even articles, by a somewhat more restrictive modern definition, adjectives are words that fall into one of two main categories, descriptive and determinative:

    DESCRIPTIVE adjectives are the words that we most commonly think of when the term 'adjective' is mentioned, such as 'big, happy, red', etc. These can generally occur either attributively (i.e. directly before their noun referent, as modifiers) or predicatively (i.e. in the predicate of the sentence, as complements). Thus I can use 'red' as a modifier in a red ball or as a complement in

    The ball is red.

    Either way, the word 'red', relating descriptively to the noun 'ball', is an adjective.

    DETERMINATIVE adjectives are, as their name implies, a sub-class of determiners (see below). They occur only attributively and generally, unlike descriptive adjectives, may not be used in conjunction with articles. The set of English determinative adjectives includes 'some, any, much, more', possessives 'my, your' etc. and demonstratives 'this, that', etc.

    The term DETERMINER, on the other hand, denotes members of several different form-classes, that have in common only the fact that they serve to determine either the specific reference or the number/quantity of a given NP (or, to put it more simply, they tell us - not, like a descriptive adjective, what kind of thing it is - but which particular thing it is, or how much there is of it).

    In addition to determinative adjectives, the group includes articles (definite and indefinite) and even possessive-case nouns, such as Peter's in Peter's coat.

    Thus, as you can see, only some adjectives are determiners, and only some determiners are adjectives!
    Last edited by philo2009; 06-Nov-2009 at 07:35.

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