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    Grammatical Functions of English Determiners

    Grammatical Functions of English Determiners

    Determiners are words that provide information such as familiarity, location, quantity, and number about a noun or a verb in the form of a present participle. The seven types of determiners in the English language are articles, demonstrative determiners, interrogative determiners, possessive determiners, possessive interrogative determiners, quantifiers, and numerals. Determiners perform only one grammatical function within sentences in the English language: determinatives.

    Determiners as Determinatives

    The only grammatical function that determiners perform is the determinative. Determinatives are words and phrases that express additional information such as definiteness, proximity, quantity, and relationships about a noun phrase or verb phrase in the form of a present participle. For example, the following italicized determiners function as determinatives:

    Additionally multiple determiners in the form of a determiner phrase can function as a determinative in English grammar. For example:

    • All three of the children would not eat any of their vegetables.
    • The thirteen books were each popular titles.
    • All her many accomplishments impressed the many members of the search committee.

    The one grammatical function of determiners in English grammar is the determinative.


    Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
    Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
    Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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