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Using Determiner Phrases as Determinatives

Belonging to a closed class of function words, determiners provide information such as familiarity, location, quantity, and number about a noun, pronoun (rarely), noun phrase, or verb phrase in the form of a present participle. A determiner phrase consists of two or more determiners plus the p-word of functioning as a particle.

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, determiner phrases function as determinatives. Examples of determiner phrases as determinatives include the following:

  • Half of the students failed the quiz.
  • All of my relatives are absolutely crazy.
  • Some of your vegetables survived the early frost.
  • Two of our nephews have missed their connecting flight.
  • The bride-to-be liked none of the caterer’s appetizer suggestions.
  • All three of her cats escaped during the chaos of the storm.


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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