Determiners are not classifying adjectives. See more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determiner_(class).
Determiners come before nouns. Does that make them a subset of Adjectives? Is the a classifying adjective?
Your link is faulty. Can you correct it?
(*In the dim and distant past, 'articles' were subsumed within the category of adjective, but sufficient syntactic differences between the two led to their later being split into two distinct groups.)
However, the form class indicates only the typical/basic (or, to use the favored terminology of some contemporary grammarians, canonical) functions of these words. The reality of English grammar is rather more complex, since words which are typically of one particular lexical category can temporarily, in a given sentence, be used as if they were members of another. For instance, although a dictionary will naturally list the word 'die' as a verb, it is quite possible to make a sentence such as
To die in battle was the greatest glory for a Viking.
in which that same 'verb' functions as sentence subject, a syntactic role that we would normally associate only with substantives (i.e. nouns or pronouns), and, in that sense, could be said to be behaving as a noun. Obviously, however, we do not, on these grounds, rush to revise our dictionary entry for 'die' and reclassify it as a noun: it remains, in term of form class, a verb, but we say that, in terms of syntactic function within the sentence in question, it is a nominal - i.e. it is being used here as if it were a noun. Thus the syntactic 'supercategory' of 'nominal' can include members of a variety of simpler lexical categories and phrase-types, ranging from the humble noun to entire clauses, e.g. 'what you did last Tuesday' in
What you did last Tuesday shocked everybody.
, similarly functioning here in a noun-like way as sentence subject.
To cut a long story short, determiners are a similar order of syntactic supercategory, containing many words that are also lexically adjectives (e.g. 'which, any, some') but also many others which are not (e.g. possessive-case nouns such as Mary's), which nevertheless meet the essential criteria for classification as determiners (i.e. they specify either to which person or thing or to how much/many people or things reference is being made).
I trust that these notes may help you to understand a little better this rather difficult and subtle grammatical distinction!
Last edited by philo2009; 06-Apr-2009 at 12:28.
Thanks for your answer.
Would you please look under Forms>ESL Forums> Analyzing sentences > Bob's or Tom's eel?
I have sentence I can't quite get. You mention in your answer that Mary's could be categorized as a determiner. Please could you give me your opinion. It would help me a lot.
I need to revise my grammar as I am in China to teach English. This is all stuff I did 30 years ago, and I am rusty. I am much better in German grammar.
Grammar is so old, I would think that there should be nothing new or unclarified in it. How wrong can you be!!
Sorry, but the link to wikipedia comes up with this:
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