Revised as of 31 July 2017
Quantifiers is a very small group and refers to indefinite quantities; the post, “Quantifier“, explores this in greater detail.
Amazing what grammarians will come up with, although I can sympathize — you should see me sorting nuts, bolts, screws, and nails!
Grammar Explanations is…
…an evolving list of the structural rules and principles that determines where words are placed in phrases or sentences as well as how the language is spoken. Sometimes I run across an example that helps explain better or another “also known as”. Heck, there’s always a better way to explain it, so if it makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone… Are there areas of grammar with which you struggle? If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page and consider sharing this Grammar Explanation with friends by by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Woodward English; Style Sheet for the 1632 Series|
|Definition: A closed class that determines what is being referred to in an utterance — words which signal that a noun will follow.
Determiners may also be divided into specific and general determiners, which are another way of saying essential or nonessential, restrictive or nonrestrictive.
|Identifiers||Definition: Labels the identity of a particular or a unique object or a unique class of objects. This could be an idea, a physical object or the physical substance. It could be a name, number, word, letter, symbol, or a combination of these.|
|There are restrictive and nonrestrictive identifiers, sometimes referred to as essential and nonessential.
Types of Identifiers:
|Definite Article||Definition: An essential, restrictive article that determines a specific or particular noun. It identifies a particular item.
Rule: No commas.
A.k.a., restrictive identifier, essential identifier
|List of Essential Definite Articles|
Look at the ball.
Find the car keys.
She ran down that alley.
This is the letter mother sent to me.
That man came into the room.
The football team was led by the quarterback Joe Namath.
The artist Pablo Picasso both destroyed and created the avant-garde.
|Indefinite Article||Definition: A nonessential, nonrestrictive article that modifies non-specific or non-particular nouns. It simply identifies one of any number of similar items.
|List of Nonessential Indefinite Articles|
|A||Rule: Use a before words that begin with a consonant sound.|
|That was a great catch.
It was a detail that was overlooked.
She saw it as a ladder to the stars.
This is a letter mother sent to me.
A man came into a room.
|An||Rule: Use an before words that begin with a vowel sound.
Most acronyms and words beginning with an “h”, and pronounced with an “aitch” sound, will use “an” in front of it.
Explore the difference between a and an in the post, “Grammar Explanation & Word Confusion: A and An.
|He would need an angioplasty.
Do you hear an echo?
I had to hand it to her, it was an Oscar-award moment.
|Some||Rule: Use for the plural nouns.
It can be followed by any adverb, adjective, plural noun or uncountable noun whatsoever (as long as there’s a noun somewhere in the vicinity to complete the noun phrase).
I would like some flowers, please.
Now those are some blue shoes!
You should see some buildings up ahead.
Can we buy some camels?
Oh, man, those are some ugly clothes.
Can you pick up some brushes while you’re out?
We some soda for tonight.
…and pick up some water while you’re out.
I have some some dollar bills
|Demonstratives||Definition: Used to show:
Four Demonstrative Identifiers:
A.k.a., specific determiner
|Demonstrative Adjective||Definition: Show whether the noun they refer to is singular or plural and whether it is located near to or far from the speaker or writer (Using English).|
|Rule: Use if an action has finished or is in the past. It must agree with the noun.|
|That car is so cool.
Those boys with their pants hanging off their butts are so silly looking.
Those girls we met last night were silly.
|Rule: Used in front of a noun and indicates present time and action. It must agree with the noun.|
|This book is so dull.
These chocolates are delicious!
|Demonstrative Pronoun||Definition: Used to identify how close something is, i.e., how near or far:
Rule: Used before a verb or by themselves.
A.k.a., adjectival demonstrative pronouns
|Rule: Use that (those is the plural) to identify an item(s) that is not close by the speaker.|
|Get that ball over there.
Get those balls over there.
Has that man gotten home yet?
Have those men gotten home yet?
That’s the one over there.
Those are the ones over there.
Did you do that?
|Rule: Use this (these is the plural) to identify an item(s) that is close by the speaker or the action is near in time.|
|Do you want me to throw this ball?
Do you want me to throw these balls?
This is the man who kissed me.
These are the men who kissed me.
This is the book I bought last week.
These are the books I bought last week.
Oh, man, I want to eat this.
I’d like to buy these.
I’d like to buy these shoes makes it a demonstrative adjective.
This is a good meal.
|Rule: Use this expression when you talk on the phone or introduce people.|
|“Hello, this is Jamie.”
John, this is my friend Peter. Peter, this is John.
|Interrogative Determiner||Definition: Expresses direct or indirect questions and exclamations.|
|List of Some Interrogative Determiners|
|For what reason?
What time is it?
Do you know what excuse he gave me?
Which way is the wind blowing?
Whose car are you borrowing for tomorrow?
|Numbers||Definition: Labels an object or class of objects as unique whether it’s an idea, a countable or noncountable noun.
Rule: A number identifier may be combined with letters, words, or symbols.
|five, eight, 103…
part number 5839-4
Telephone No.: 555-555-1212
“100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”
|Indefinite Pronouns||Rule: Indefinite pronouns function as nouns.
There is a more extensive list of indefinite pronouns in the post, “Pronoun“.
A.k.a., distributive determiner
|List of Some Indefinite Pronouns|
|All of her work made its impact on her grades.
Some of the water left its mark on the wooden table.
Both of the books were useful in their own ways.
Most of my friends drove their cars to the beach.
Each person threw in their hat.
|Possessives||Definition: Identifiers that indicate ownership.
A.k.a., possessive adjectives (Biber, 1999:270-272), specific determiner
|List of Some Possessive Determiners|
|Whose coat is that?|
|Possessive Nouns||Definition: Shows that the noun owns something.
It may also be a noun phrase.
|The studio’s lighting is excellent.
What happened to the pail’s handle?
The water bucket’s hole is making it very difficult to haul water.
|Possessive Pronouns||Definition: Modifies a noun by attributing possession (or other sense of belonging) to someone or something.
A.k.a., possessive adjective, adjectival possessive pronoun
|List of Possessive Pronouns|
|Mary’s, my, your, her, his, its, ours, their, theirs, whose|
|Where is James’ car?
Have you found your keys yet?
That’s my chocolate!
Whose coat is this?
|Quantifiers||Definition: Makes references to indefinite quantities.|
|List of Quantifiers||several, few, a little, many|
|I have several jars of chili sauce.
My file has too many complaints in it.
A little chocolate always helps.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!