Most noun phrases contain only one determiner or none at all, but if there are more, they follow a definite order. Determiners can be divided into four groups, depending on what other determiners they can be used with and the order that they follow.There are two large groups:Athe, this, these, that, those, a(n), and the possessives my, your, her, his, etc.
Banother, some, any, no, either, neither, each, enough, a few, a little.
|a ripe orange||my young sister|
|this ripe orange||our young sister|
The words in groups A and B are known as the central determiners. A noun phrase will normally contain only one central determiner.
|each ripe orange||another sister|
|some ripe oranges||enough money|
- The group A and group B words cannot be used together, with the exception that words in group B may be followed by a group A word if of is placed between them.
|some of those oranges||neither of my sisters|
- Words in group A can be used in combination with determiners in groups C and D (below).
There are two smaller groups.CThe smallest group consists of the words: all, both, half, double, and twice. These can be used on their own before a noun or before the group A determiners above. Some speakers of English prefer to insert of between all, both, or half and a central determiner.
- Both girls were reading.
- Both my young sisters are really naughty.
- All visitors must now leave the ship.
- All the visitors left the ship.
- All of the visitors left the ship.
- Half of the oranges will have to be thrown away.
DThe words in the fourth group are, every, many, several, few, little, much, more, most, less, the ordinal numbers first, second, third etc., and last. These can be used on their own before a noun,
- The words in group C are sometimes called predeterminers. The exclamatives such and what belong to this group. See Exclamatives for more details about these.
or after the A group of determiners.
- Every move was carefully recorded.
- She did many kind things.
- She has few friends.
- Last orders, please.
- Your every move is being watched.
- The many kind things she did went unnoticed.
- Her few possessions had been stolen.
- The first thing she did was call her mother.
- I would rather forget these last few days.