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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