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    Using Numerals as Determinatives

    Using Numerals as Determinatives

    Numerals belong to a closed class of words call determiners. Determiners provide information such as familiarity, location, quantity, and number about a noun, pronoun (rarely), or noun phrase. Numerals are counting numbers such as one, two, three, and four that provide information about the amount of a word or phrase. Determiner phrases also contain the p-word of functioning as a particle as in two of and four of. Some grammars consider numerals as a subcategory of quantifiers.

    In grammar, a determinative is a word or phrase that expresses additional information such as definiteness, proximity, quantity, and relationships about a noun phrase and that differs from an adjective phrase, which describes attributes. In the English language, numerals function as determinatives. Examples of numerals as determinatives include the following:

    • Two birds crashed into one window ten minutes ago.
    • Bring me eight apples, nine olives, and two pizza crusts.
    • I just bought twelve new pairs of shoes.
    • We have six cans of the spinach and two of the carrots.
    • Nine of my students called in sick three days this week.
    • Mom sent me six of her world-famous pies.

    Numerals as Determinatives

    Numerals as Determinatives

    References

    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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