Determiner Order

As you know, pre-determiners, determiners, and post-determiners can be used together to modify a noun. In this lesson, we will learn about their order.

Determiner Order in English

What is Determiner Order?

There are pre-determiners, determiners, and post-determiners in a noun phrase which can or cannot be used at the same time. Thus, it is important to know the order in which different determiners can appear.

Take a look at the types of determiners on the list:

  • pre-determiners
  • central determiners
  • post-determiners
  1. numerals
  2. sequencers
  3. quantifiers
  4. some distributives

How Do We Use Determiners?

As you may know, there are various types of pre-determiners, determiners, and post-determiners that are used in specific orders to form noun phrases with a head noun. Let us take a look at the determiners that can be used with each other at the same time:

Pre-determiners and Central Determiners

Some pre-determiners cannot be used with certain central determiners. Check out the table below to find out which predeterminers can be used with a specific central determiner.

Article Demonstrative Possesitve Interrogative
Multiplier
Fraction
Intensifier
Distributive

Multipliers and Central Determiners

Multipliers can be used before every central determiner except interrogative determiners. Here are a few examples:

We exercise twice a week.

These shoes are twice my size.

He ate twice this amount last year.

Twice what color is your favorite?

Fractions and Central Determiners

Fractions can be used with every central determiner except interrogative determiners. Here are some examples:

It took half a minute.

She wears half my size.

Half those animals are going to be extinct.

Half whose shoes are those?

Intensifiers with Central Determiners

Intensifiers are used with articles but not with any other central determiners. Here are a few examples:

He is quite a man.

He is such my friend.

I can't solve such this problem.

Quite whose books are those?

Distributives and Central Determiners

Distributives are used with every type of central determiner except interrogative determiners. Here are some examples:

All the animals were kept in cages.

Both my friends are at the party.

All these people are supposed to get injected.

All what class did go to the picnic?

using pre-determiners to modify a noun

Post-determiners and Central Determiners

Certain post-determiners can be used on their own, without a preceding determiner, while others require a central determiner to be present. It is important to know which post-determiners can be used with central determiners in a noun phrase. The table below shows which post-determiners can be used with central determiners:

Article Demonstrative Possessive Interrogative
Numerals
Quantifiers
Distributives

Numerals and Central Determiners

Numeral post-determiners can be used with all central determiners except interrogatives. Check out the examples:

The next session is on Wednesday.

Those few last moments made eternal flames.

Your previous therapy didn't end well.

What next school do you go to?

Quantifiers with Central Determiners

Quantifiers cannot be used with interrogative and possessive determiners. Check out the examples for more clarification:

We have a few plans.

I talked to my few friends.

What many issues are there in your mind?

Those few moments together were precious.

Distributives with Central Determiners

Distributive determiners are only used alone as a post-determiner. This means they cannot be used with central determiners at the same time. Check these examples out:

Each boy has his own characteristics in this class.

Either room is suitable to become the guest room.

Can We Use Post-determiners and Pre-determiners Together?

There are only a few structures in which post-determiners and pre-determiners can be used together at the same time. Here are the structures:

  • distributive (pre-determiner) + article + numeral (post-determiner) + head noun

Here is an example of this structure:

I will have fun all the next summer.

  • multiplier (pre-determiner) + possessive + numeral (post-determiner) + head noun

Check the example out to get to know this structure:

Five-eighth of my previous class got graduated.

  • distributive (pre-determiner) + demonstrative + numeral (post-determiner) + head noun

In this example, the above structure is used:

All those five nights I was playing the piano.

  • distributive (pre-determiner) + possessive + numeral (post-determiner) + head noun

Check out the example for more clarification:

Both my previous classes were tiring.

Determiners of the Same Category

Two central determiners or two pre-determiners cannot be used with each other at the same time, but there are two specific post-determiners that can be used with each other. Here is the structure and the example:

  • numeral (sequencer) + quantifier + head noun

I will give birth to my baby in the next few months.

Partitives as Pre-determiners

Both definite and indefinite partitives can be used as pre-determiners in a noun phrase. However, it's important to note that the first part of the partitive, which contains a number or an article (such as 'a', 'one', 'two', 'one hundred', and so on), is actually part of the partitive structure and is included in the formation of the pre-determiner. Therefore, the entire partitive construction is used as a pre-determiner. Here are the examples:

Many of their problems are because of the baby.

'Their' is a central determiner that is used after the partitive pre-determiner.

Three pieces of the pizza are left in the box.

Review

Pre-determiners cannot be used with every central determiner pr post-determiner at the same time. So there is a particular order for each determiner to be used in combination with another.

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Pre-determiners

Pre-determiners are used to modify a noun. They are placed before the central determiners. Follow the article to learn about them.

Post-determiners

Post-determiners are terms that are used after central determiners. They are all used to modify the noun phrase. follow the article to learn more.

Possessive Determiners

Possessive determiners are types of function words used before a noun to show ownership or possession. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Interrogative Determiners

There are three interrogative determiners in English: what, which, and whose. In this lesson, we will go through each one of them.

Demonstrative Determiners

Demonstrative determiners in English are this, these, that and those. They are used to identify the person or thing that is being referred to.

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