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    #1

    Determiners and Adjectives

    Determiners come before nouns. Does that make them a subset of Adjectives? Is the a classifying adjective?

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    #2

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Hi Pedroski

    Determiners are not classifying adjectives. See more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determiner_(class).

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    #3

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Your link is faulty. Can you correct it?

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    #4

    Exclamation Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Determiners come before nouns. Does that make them a subset of Adjectives? Is the a classifying adjective?
    You could be right about this, actually. I'm in possession of a fairly old dictionary by Oxford in which you can read that a/an/the are all adjecives (alongside a note saying that they're called articles).

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    #5

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Your link is faulty. Can you correct it?
    Faulty as in you are unable to open the link or faulty as in the information it houses is incorrect?

    I am able to open the link, but here it is again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determiner_(class)

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    #6

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    You could be right about this, actually. I'm in possession of a fairly old dictionary by Oxford in which you can read that a/an/the are all adjecives (alongside a note saying that they're called articles).
    Traditionally, yes. See the Wikipedia site.

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    #7

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Determiners come before nouns. Does that make them a subset of Adjectives? Is the a classifying adjective?
    The Wikipedia article may possibly be so detailed that you will end up unable to see the forest for the trees, so perhaps a little simple summarizing might be in order here: determiners and adjectives are quite different types of grammatical category, so that neither can accurately be said to be a subset of the other. Adjectives are a form class, a very basic level of grammatical classification existing alongside - and therefore, by definition, mutually exclusive of - nouns, pronouns, articles*, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. These form classes are sometimes also called lexical categories, since that is the form in which their grammatical role is generally (or, at least, traditionally) labelled in dictionaries/lexicons.
    (*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.

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    #8

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    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!!

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    #9

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Sorry, but the link to wikipedia comes up with this:
    Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for Determiner (class in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings.

    * Start the Determiner (class article or add a request for it.
    * Search for "Determiner (class" in existing articles.
    * Look for pages within Wikipedia that link to this title.

    Other reasons this message may be displayed:

    * If a page was recently created here, it may not yet be visible because of a delay in updating the database; wait a few minutes and try the purge function.
    * Titles on Wikipedia are case sensitive except for the first character; please check alternate capitalizations and consider adding a redirect here to the correct title.
    * If the page has been deleted, check the deletion log, and see Why was my page deleted?.

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    #10

    Re: Determiners and Adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    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.
    Any possessive-case noun can function as a determiner.

    Please cite the sentence about which you are in doubt and I will be happy to comment.

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