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In most Indo-European languages, determiners are either independent words or clitics that
precede the rest of the noun-phrase. In other languages, determiners are prefixed or suffixed to
the noun, or even change the noun's form. For example, in Swedish bok "book", when definite,
becomes boken "the book" (suffixed definite articles are common in Scandinavian languages).

Some constructions, such as those that use names of school subjects ("Physics uses
mathematics"), don't use a determiner. This condition is called the "zero determiner" instance.

X-bar theory contends that every noun has a corresponding determiner. In a case where a noun
does not have a pronounced determiner, X-bar theory hypothesizes the presence of a zero article.


The determiner function is usually performed by the determiner class of words, but can also be
filled by words from other entities:

1.Y Ñasic determiners are words from the determiner class (e.g. P e girl, P ose pencils) or determiner
phrases (e.g. almosPall people, moreP anPo problems).
2.Y Subject determiners are possessive noun phrases (e.g. s daughter, P eboy's friend).
3.Y ÿinor determiners are plain NPs (e.g.  aPolour carpet, P sse shoes) and prepositional
phrases (underPenPy meters, upPoPelve people).

6 determiner establishes the referene of a noun or noun-phrase, including quantity, rather than
its aPPrbuPes as expressed by adjectives. Despite this tendency, determiners have a variety of
functions including, in English, modifiers in adjective phrases and determiner phrases, and even
markers of coordination.

This word class, or part of speech, exists in many languages, including English, though most
English dictionaries still classify determiners under other parts of speech. Determiners usually
include articles, and may include items like demonstratives, possessive determiners, quantifiers,
and cardinal numbers, depending on the language.

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Determiners, in English, form a closed class of words that number about 50 (not counting the
cardinal numerals) and include:

Y 6lternative determiners: anoP er, oP er, somebody else, dfferenP

Y 6rticles: a,an, P e
Y -ardinal numbers: ero, one, Po, ffPy, nfnPe, etc.
Y Degree determiners/Partitive determiners: many, mu , fe, lPPle, several, mosP
Y Demonstratives: P s, P aP, P ese, P ose,  
Y Disjunctive determiners: eP er, neP er
Y Distributive determiners: ea , every
Y Elective determiners: any, eP er,   ever
Y Equative determiners: the same
Y Evaluative determiners: su , P aP, so
Y Exclamative determiners:  aP eyes!
Y Existential determiners: some, any
Y Interrogative and relative determiners:   ,  aP,   ever,  aPever
Y ÿultal determiners: aloPof, many, several, mu
Y Negative determiners: no, neP er
Y Paucal determiners: afe, alPPle, some
Y Personal determiners: e teachers, you guys
Y Possessive determiners: my, your, our, his, her, etc.
Y uantifiers: all, fe, many, several, some, every, ea , any, no, etc.
Y Sufficiency determiners: enoug , suffenP, plenPy
Y Mniquitive determiners: the only
Y Mniversal determiners: all, boP

Each of these determiners can be classified as:

Y Definite determiners, which limit their reference back to a specific already-mentioned entity
Y Indefinite determiners, which broaden their referent to one not previously specified, otherwise
newly introduced into discourse

ÿany of these can also be either or, thus allowing such pairs as ¬ P e¬oP erone, or
¬ an¬oP erone.

While many words belong to this lexical category exclusively, others belong to a number of
categories, for example, the pronoun  aP in  aPsgood as opposed to the determiner  aP in
 aPonesgood. While numerals exist as nouns, it is debated whether numerals are determiners
or not[2]. For instance, the English numerals for 100 or larger need a determiner, such as "
hundred men." Similarly, while pronouns like my, your, etc. function as determiners in a noun
phrase, many grammars do not make the distinction between class and function and so lump
these in with determiners.

For a mostly complete list, see Wiktionary.


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Traditional English grammar does not include determiners and calls most determiners adjectives.
There are, however, a number of key differences between determiners and adjectives. (The [*]
indicates intentionally incorrect grammar.)

1.Y In English, articles, demonstratives, and possessive determiners cannot co-occur in the same
phrase, while any number of adjectives are typically allowed.
1.Y 6    ½   book
2.Y *   book (note however that Italian allows exactly this construction - lsuolbro)
2.Y ÿost determiners cannot occur alone in predicative complement position; most adjectives can.
1.Y He is .
2.Y * He is  .
3.Y ÿost determiners are not gradable, while adjectives typically are.
1.Y happy, happier, happiest
2.Y (However in colloquial usage an English speaker might say [eg] "This is very much my
house" for emphasis)
4.Y Some determiners have corresponding pronouns, while adjectives don't.
1.Y ½  likes something different.
2.Y * Ñ likes something different.
5.Y 6djectives can modify singular or plural nouns, while some determiners can only modify one or
the other.
1.Y a  person /  people
2.Y  people / *  person
6.Y 6djectives are never obligatory, while determiners often are.


Determiners such as P s, all, and some can often occur without a noun. In traditional grammar,
these are called pronouns. There are, however, a number of key differences between such
determiners and pronouns.

1.Y Pronouns may occur in tag questions. Determiners cannot.

1.Y This is delicious, isn't r
2.Y *This is delicious, isn't  r
2.Y In phrasal verbs, pronouns must appear between the verb and particle. Determiners may occur
after the particle.
1.Y pick  up
2.Y *pick up 
3.Y pick this up
4.Y pick up this
3.Y Pronouns all have distinct genitive forms. Determiners do not.
1.Y This is mine/yours/theirs.
2.Y *This is all's.


è Y
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Prepositions are the words that indicate location. Msually, prepositions show this location in the
physical world. -heck out the three examples below:

The puppy is on the floor. The puppy is beside the phone.

The puppy is in the trashcan.

On, in, and beside are all prepositions. They are showing  ere the puppy is. Prepositions can
also show location in Pme. Read the next three examples:

6t midnight, Jill craved mashed potatoes with grape jelly.

In the spring, I always vow to plant tomatoes but end up buying them at the supermarket.

During the marathon, Iggy's legs complained with sharp pains shooting up his thighs.

6t midnight, in the spring, and during the marathon all show location in time.

Ñecause there are so many possible locations, there are quite a few prepositions. Ñelow is the
complete list.

about concerning onto

above despite on top of
according to down out
across during out of
after except outside
against except for over
along excepting past
along with for regarding

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among from round
apart from in since
around in addition to through
as in back of throughout
as for in case of till
at in front of to
because of in place of toward
before inside under
behind in spite of underneath
below instead of unlike
beneath into until
beside like up
between near upon
beyond next up to
but* of with
by off within
by means of on without

* Ñut is very seldom a preposition. When it is used as a preposition, but means the same as
except²Everyone ate frog legs but Jamie. Ñut usually functions as a coordinating conjunction.

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Prepositions generally introduce prepositional phrases. Prepositional phrases look like this:

preposition + optional modifiers + noun, pronoun, or gerund

Here are some examples:

6t school

6t = preposition; school = noun.

6ccording to us

6ccording to = preposition; us = pronoun.

Ñy chewing

Ñy = preposition; chewing = gerund.

Mnder the stove

Mnder = preposition; the = modifier; stove = noun.

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In the crumb-filled, rumpled sheets

In = preposition; the, crumb-filled, rumpled = modifiers; sheets = noun.

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Some prepositions also function as subordinate conjunctions. These prepositions are after, as,
before, since, and until. 6 subordinate conjunction will have both a subject and a verb following
it, forming a subordinate clause.

Look at these examples:

6fter Sam and Esmerelda kissed goodnight

6fter = subordinate conjunction; Sam, Esmerelda = subjects; kissed = verb.

6s Jerome buckled on the parachute

6s = subordinate conjunction; Jerome = subject; buckled = verb.

Ñefore I eat these frog legs

Ñefore = subordinate conjunction; I = subject; eat = verb.

Since we have enjoyed the squid eyeball stew

Since = subordinate conjunction; we = subject; have enjoyed = verb.

Mntil your hiccups stop

Mntil = subordinate conjunction; hiccups = subject; stop = verb.

If you find a noun [with or without modifiers] following one of these five prepositions, then all
you have is a prepositional phrase. Look at these examples:

6fter the killer calculus test

6fter = preposition; the, killer, calculus = modifiers; test = noun.

6s a good parent

6s = preposition; a, good = modifiers; parent = noun.

Ñefore dinner

Ñefore = preposition; dinner = noun.

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Since the breakup

Since = preposition; the = modifier; breakup = noun.

Mntil midnight

Mntil = preposition; midnight = noun.

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Verbs are a necessary component of all sentences. Verbs have two important functions: Some
verbs put static objects into motion while other verbs help to clarify the objects in meaningful
ways. Look at the examples below:

ÿy grumpy old English teacher smiled at the plate of cold meatloaf.

ÿy grumpy old English teacher = static object; smiled = verb.

The daredevil cockroach splashed into Sara's soup.

The daredevil cockroach = static object; splashed = verb.

Theo's overworked computer exploded in a spray of sparks.

Theo's overworked computer = static object; exploded = verb.

The curious toddler popped a grasshopper into her mouth.

The curious toddler = static object; popped = verb.

Francisco's comic book collection is worth $20,000.00.

Francisco's comic book collection = static object; is = verb.

The important thing to remember is that every subject in a sentence must have a verb. Otherwise,
you will have written a fragment, a major writing error.

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ÿany words in English have more than one function. Sometimes a word is a subject, sometimes
a verb, sometimes a modifier. 6s a result, you must often analyze the job a word is doing in the
sentence. Look at these two examples:

Potato chips crunch too loudly to eat during an exam.

The crunch of the potato chips drew the angry glance of Professor Orsini to our corner of the

-runch is something that we can do. We can crunch cockroaches under our shoes. We can
crunch popcorn during a movie. We can crunch numbers for a math class. In the first sentence,
then, crunch is what the potato chips do, so we can call it a verb.

Even though crunch is often a verb, it can also be a noun. The crunch of the potato chips, for
example, is a thing, a sound that we can hear. You therefore need to analyze the function that a
word provides in a sentence before you determine what grammatical name to give that word.

#  # 


Dance! Sing! Paint! Giggle! -hew! What are these words doingr They are expressing action,
something that a person, animal, force of nature, or thing can do. 6s a result, words like these are
called action verbs. Look at the examples below:

-lyde sneezes with the force of a tornado.

Sneezing is something that -lyde can do.

Ñecause of the spoiled mayonnaise, Ricky vomited potato salad all day.

Vomiting is something that Ricky can do²although he might not enjoy it.

Sylvia always winks at cute guys driving hot cars.

Winking is something that Sylvia can do.

The telephone rang with shrill, annoying cries.

Ringing is something that the telephone can do.

Thunder boomed in the distance, sending my poor dog scrambling under the bed.

Ñooming is something that thunder can do.

If you are unsure whether a sentence contains an action verb or not, look at every word in the
sentence and ask yourself, "Is this something that a person or thing can dor" Take this sentence,
for example:
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During the summer, my poodle constantly pants and drools.

-an you duringr Is during something you can dor -an you ther Is there someone theing outside
the window right nowr -an you summerr Do your obnoxious neighbors keep you up until 2 a.m.
because they are summeringr -an you myr What does a person do when she's myingr -an you
poodler Show me what poodling is. -an you pantr Ñingo! Sure you can! Run five miles and
you'll be panting. -an you andr Of course not! Ñut can you droolr You bet²although we don't
need a demonstration of this ability. In the sentence above, therefore, there are two action verbs:
pant and drool.

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Linking verbs, on the other hand, do not express action. Instead, they connect the subject of a
verb to additional information about the subject. Look at the examples below:

ÿario is a computer hacker.

Ising isn't something that ÿario can do. Is connects the subject, ÿario, to additional information
about him, that he will soon have the FÑI on his trail.

During bad storms, trailer parks are often magnets for tornadoes.

6reing isn't something that trailer parks can do. 6re is simply connecting the subject, trailer
parks, to something said about them, that they tend to attract tornadoes.

6fter receiving another failing grade in algebra, Jose became depressed.

Ñecame connects the subject, Jose, to something said about him, that he wasn't happy.

6 three-mile run seems like a marathon during a hot, humid July afternoon.

Seems connects the subject, a three-mile run, with additional information, that it's more arduous
depending on the day and time.

6t restaurants, Rami always feels angry after waiting an hour for a poor meal.

Feels connects the subject, Rami, to his state of being, anger.

The following verbs are Prue linking verbs: any form of the verb be [am, were, has been, are
being, might have been, etc.], become, and seem. These true linking verbs are alays linking

Then you have a list of verbs with multiple personalities: appear, feel, grow, look, prove, remain,
smell, sound, taste, and turn. Sometimes these verbs are linking verbs; sometimes they are action
verbs. Their function in a sentence decides what you should call them.

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How do you tell when they are action verbs and when they are linking verbsr If you can
substitute am, is, or are for the verb and the sentence still sounds logical, you have a linking verb
on your hands. If, after the substitution, the sentence makes no sense, you are dealing with an
action verb. Here are some examples:

-hris tasted the crunchy, honey-roasted grasshopper.

-hris is the grasshopperr I don't think so! In this sentence then, tasted is an action verb.

The crunchy, honey-roasted grasshopper tasted good.

The grasshopper is goodr You bet. Roast your own!

I smell the delicious aroma of the grilled octopus.

I am the delicious aromar Not the last time I checked. Smell, in this sentence, is an action verb.

The aroma of the grilled octopus smells appetizing.

The aroma is appetizingr Definitely! -ome take a whiff!

The students looked at the equation until their brains hurt.

The students are the equationr Of course not! Here, looked is an action verb.

The equation looked hopelessly confusing.

The equation is confusingr Without a doubt! You try it.

This substitution will not work for appear. With appear, you have to analyze the function of the

Godzilla appeared in the doorway, spooking me badly.

6ppear is something Godzilla can do²whether you want him to or not.

Godzilla appeared happy to see me.

Here, appeared is connecting the subject, Godzilla, to his state of mind, happiness.

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You must remember that verbs can have more than one part. In fact, a verb can have as many as
four parts. 6 multi-part verb has a base or man part as well as additional helping or auxiliary
verbs with it. -heck out the examples below:

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Harvey spilled chocolate milkshake on Leslie's new dress.

Ñecause Harvey is a klutz, he is always spilling something.

Harvey might have spilled the chocolate milkshake because the short dress distracted him.

Harvey should have been spilling the chocolate milkshake down his throat.

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