Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pre -Determiners

In my previous post I explained the difference between adjectives and determiners. Determiners can be sub- divided into three sub- classes : pre-determiners, regular determiners and post- determiners .

Pre- Determiners come before regular determiners in a Noun Phrase . I this post I will discuss some commonly used pre-determiners and their proper use in sentences .


These pre-determiners are followed by the + noun or demonstrative + noun (these+ noun)

All the ministers resigned from the cabinet .
Both the boys are clever.
Half the apples are rotten.

Of-construction is optional

All of the ministers resigned from the cabinet .
Both the boys are clever.
Half of the apples are rotten .

Please note that if pronouns are used of-construction is required

All of them resigned from the cabinet n.
Both of them are clever.
Half of them are rotten.

There are some intensifiers which are used as pre-determiners , especially in conversational English . These intensifiers are : such, quite rather and what . These pre-determiners indicate the attitude of the speaker. They are followed by a/an and a noun or an adjective .

He is such a darling! (admiration)
It was quite a calm place .(I liked it )
It is rather a small house (I don't like it ) )
What a pretty girl!(wonder)

Multipliers like twice , thrice etc are pre-determiners They are followed by the +noun

She gets thrice the salary of her husband
Possessives can be used in the place of the

He gets twice my salary.

Words indicating fractions like one-third, two- fourths etc are pre-determiners

He spends one third salary on travel.

Of- construction is optional

He spends one -third of his salary on travel.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Determiners and Adjectives --Difference Explained

Adjectives are words that describe the intrinsic or inherent qualities of persons and things. Determiners , on the contrary , show attributes which are not inherent in persons or things , but are extraneous to them.

Good, bad, pretty, young , old etc are qualities that are inherent in persons and things , and so they are adjectives

Words denoting possession ( my, your , his ,her their etc ) , proximity ( this , that , these , those ) , distribution ( each, every , either, neither, both, all etc ) , quantity ( how much of something or how little of something like many, few, some , several ,little and the counting numbers one, two , three etc ) , reference (both anaphoric and cataphoric like the definite article the and the indefinite article a/an ) , order ( like the ordinal numbers , first, second, third etc ) ---these show attributes which are extraneous to the objects the nouns signify .

These words form a category by themselves ; and they are called determiners because they determine the way a noun is used in the context .

Determiners can be sub- divided into pre-determiners, regular determiners and post -determiners . I will discuss them in detail in my next post .

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Emphatic Pronouns and Reflexive Pronouns

Emphatic Pronouns and Reflexive Pronouns look alike in form , but they are different in usage .

Both of them are formed by adding -self or -selves to the possessive or object-form of pronouns .

I ----------------Myself






You----------------Yourselves (plural)


Emphatic Pronouns are used to emphasize the subject of the sentence . They are often placed at the end of sentences .

*I did it myself . ( that is , no other person did it )

*She cooked the meals herself .

* He cleaned the room himself .

* I drove the car all the way myself .

Emphatic Pronouns sometimes come immediately after the subject

I myself did it .

She herself cleaned the whole house .

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns are used when the doer is affected by his or her own action

* She hurt herself while cutting vegetables,

* He blamed himself for what had happened .

* Othello stabbed himself to death

*She pricked herself with a needle .

Please note that there are some verbs which are used with reflexive pronouns and then these verbs have different meanings !

* She enjoyed herself during her stay in Cochin .( that is , she had a nice time )

*You should behave \yourself in public. . ( that is , you should behave decently .)*

Enough for today !

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