Determiners : Word order

1st Part
The Most Common Determiners

2nd Part
Determiners – Word order

Grammar in use

  • Topic : The word order of determiners
  • Skills : Grammar


What is a determiner?


A determiner is a word used before a noun to give more information about the noun.

What are pre-determiners, central determiners, and post-determiners?

Pre-determinerCentral DeterminerPost-determinerNoun

Depending on its position before the noun, a determiner can be: a central determiner, a predeterminer or a postdeterminer.
A phrase like this example is rare. We usually only use one or two determiners.

There are different types of central determiners. The main ones are:

Main Central DeterminersExample WordsExample Phrases
articlesa, an, theall the time
demonstrative adjectivesthis, that, these, thosehalf this page
possessive adjectivesmy, your, his, her, its, our, theirboth my parents

Pre-determiners include:

Main Central DeterminersExample WordsExample Phrases
multiplierstwice, three times…twice the money
fractionshalf, one fourth…half an hour
intensifierswhat, such, rather, quiteWhat a mess!
other wordsboth, allboth my legs

Post-determiners include:

Main Central DeterminersExample WordsExample Phrases
cardinal numbersone, two, eighty…the three eagles
ordinal numbersfirst, second, twenty-third…the first time
general ordinalslast, next, previous…our next meeting
quantifiersfew, several, many…his several successes

Language Tips about Determiners

Some words can be determiners or post-determiners, depending on the number of determiners in a sentence and their place.
“two” is a determiner in: I need two rackets.
“two” is a post-determiner in: I need the two rackets in the garage. (“two” is placed after the central determiner “the”)
“many” is a determiner in: We know many uses for these products.
“many” is a post-determiner in: We know their many uses. (“many” is placed after the central determiner “their”)

Usually, we only use one pre-determiner. However, it is possible to use two post- determiners, as shown in the 2 examples below.
his next two projects
the first three days

Answer the following questions