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Instituto Superior Josefina Contte

Profesora, Graciela Tutuy
Gramtica Inglesa I
o Aixa, Camino
o Luz Mara, Gerez
o Sebastan, Soto
o Martn, Villagra
1) Determiners are words in front of nouns that affect (or determine) its
meaning. Determiners make it clear, for example, which particular thing(s)
we are referring to, how much of a substance we are talking about. Singular
countable nouns must normally have a determiner in front of them.

2) Determiners form a closed-system because they comprise, as the term

suggests, classes that are finite (and often small) with a membership that is
relatively stable and unchanging in the language: words like this, in, shall.
These words play a major part in English grammar, often corresponding to
inflections in some other languages, they are sometimes reffered to as
"grammatical words", "functions words", or "structure words".

3) The classification of determiners

There are three classes of determiners, set up on the basic of their positions
in the noun in relation to each other: central, pre and post determiners.
Postdeterminers take their place immediately after determiners just as
Predeterminers take their place before determiners.
Predeterminers form a class in generally being mutually exclusive,
preceding those central determiners with which they can cooccur, and in
having to do with quantification.

4) Examples of central determiners:

THE DEMONSTRATIVES: This and that are used with noncount and
singular countable nouns, these and those are used with plural
countable nouns.
Eg: I prefer this picture/music to that (picture/music)
THE POSSESSIVES: My, our, your, his, her, its, their:
Eg: I admire her house/her books/ her taste
THE WH-DETERMINERS: which, whose, whichever, whosever,
whether as relatives, indefinite relatives or interrogatives.
Eg: The woman whose book you reviewed is on TV tonight.
Which house does you prefer?
Eg: He has no car/ no children/ no concentration
Like the indefinite article, there are determiners that occur only with
singular countable nouns.
Eg: we need to interview every/each student separately.

5) Predeterminers
These have in common the positive characteristic of being able to cooccur
before the articles, the demonstratives and the possessives.
All/both/half of these/those girls
All occurs with plural count nouns and with noncount nouns, as in
All the books All books
Both occurs with plural count nouns, as in
Both the books both books
Half occurs with singular and plural count nouns and with noncount nouns
as in:
Half the books Half a book
These have two uses as predeterminers. When the following determiner is
the definite article, demonstrative or possessive, the multiplier applies to
the noun so determined:
Twice/double the length (a length twice as great)
Three times her salary (a salary three times as large)
When the following determiner is the indefinite article or each or every, the
multiplier applies to a measure (such as frequency) set against the unit
specified by the following noun:
Once a day
Twice a day
Four times every year
6) Postdeterminers fall into two classes:
a) Ordinals, such as: first, fourth, last, other;
b) Quantifiers, such as: seven, ninety, many, few, plenty of, a lot
Were they can co-occur, items from a) usually precede items from b)
Eg: the first two poems
My last few possessions
Among the b) items, there are two important distinctions involving few and
little. First, few occurs only with plural count nouns, little only with
noncount nouns. Second, when preceded by a, each has a positive meaning,
without a, each has a negative meaning, thus:
Eg: I played a few games (ie several)
I play few games (ie hardly any)
She ate a little bread (ie some)
She ate little bread (ie hardly any)
We should note also a contrast involving assertive and non-assertive usage.
Some items are predominantly assertive (such as plenty of, a few, a
little, a good many), while others are predominantly non-assertive (such
as much, many):
Eg: we need plenty of time
- We dont need much time
She has written a good many poems
- She hasnt written many poems
Others examples of Postdeterminers:
The two ladies in the car are my sisters. (quantifiers)
My last travel to Buenos Aires was in June. (Ordinals)
The first time I saw her I didnt recognize her. (Ordinals)
The last two lines explain the problem. (ordinal preceding quantifier)
7) The indefinitive (a, an), definite (the) or zero article (-)
Rules for articles generally depend on the gender of the noun and on
whether if it is singular or plural. In English, gender does not affect our
choice, but a word in singular or plural may do so.
Articles dont have gender or special plural forms in English, but, choice is
complicated by three factors:
Whether a noun is countable or uncountable.
Whether we are making general statements.
Whether we are referring to something the listener or reader can
positively identify or not.

a/an, the, or zero before countable and uncountable

The distinction between countable and uncountable must be clearly
understood because it affects our choice of article.

A/an is used only in front of a singular countable: a hat
a singular countable:
the hat
The can be used in front of a plural countable:
the hats
an uncountable:
the water

a plural countable: hats

Zero we often use no article in front of
an uncountable:


Singular countable
a: The man who lives next door is an: My sister is an architect.
a doctor.
the: The architect who designed this block won a prize.
Plural countable
zero: the people who work next door are architects
the: the architects who designed this block won a prize
an uncountable nouns
zero: sugar is bad for you
the: the sugar you bought yesterday has got damp

The indefinite article: a/an
Basic uses of a/an
There is no difference in meaning between a/an. Whe using a/an we
must always bear in mind two basic facts:
1) a/an has an indefinite meaning (i.e. the person, animal or thing
referred to may be not to the listener or reader, so a/an has the sense
of any or I cant/wont tell you which, or it doesnt matter which
2) A/an can combine only with singular countable noun .

How to refer to singular and plural
To classify or identify something we can say:
Its a book (a/an + singular noun)
The plural of this
Theyre books (zero + plural noun)
To refer quantity, we can say:
Ive got a book (a/an + singular noun)
When the exact number is not important, we can use quantifiers like,
some, a few, a lot of, any, etc
Eg. Ive got some books (some + plural noun)
Classification: a/an to mean an example of that class
General statement and descriptive labels
When we say a rose is a flower, we mean that a rose is an
example of a class of items we call flowers. We use a/an in this way
when we wish to classify people, animals or things. We can classify
in two ways:
1) By means of generals statements
2) By means of labels
Generals statements: with a/an often take the form of definitions
A cat is a domestic animal
Definitions of this kind are possible because is easily think in one cat
at a time. If we make general statements with cats, we are referring to
the whole species, but meaning is the same:
Cats are domestic animals
Many uncountable nouns can be used after a/an when we are
referring to an example of that class
This is a very good coffee.
1- Descriptive labels: in English we need to use a/an when we are
attaching labels to people with regards to:
Origins: hes a Frenchman/an American
Occupation: shes a doctor / hes an electrician
Religion: shes a catholic / hes an Anglican
Politics: hes a Socialist / a Republican

The plurals would be: theyre Frenchmen/doctors, etc. adjectival

equivalents can be used in place of nouns for all the above examples
except occupation:
Eg; hes European/French/Catholic/Socialist
What daes he do? He is a taxi-driver

We need a/an with any kind of labelling:
- with nouns: youre an ange/a saint/a wonder
- With adjetives + noun: youre a good girl/a real angel
Things, animals, etc. can also be classifield with a/an:
Its a (kind of/short of/type of) bottle-opener / its a (kind
of/short of/type of) beetle / its a (kind of/short of/type of)

Quantity: the use of a/an to mean only one
We can use a/an to refer to quantity (only one) when we are not
specifying any particular person or thing:
Id like an apple (i.e. only one apple)
When we express this in the plural, we use some or any
Id like some apple/I dont want any apple
For a/an + countable to refer to only one
We can use a/an for something (a noun) that is mentioned for the
first time, for this a/an is used before a countable noun.
Eg; I looked up and saw a plane (mentioned for the first time) the
plane flew low over the trees (now, you know which plane he
For measurement a/an is use in terms of another. If we want to
emphasize each, we use per instead of a/an
Price in relation of weight: 80p a/per kilo
Distance: 40 km an/per hour
Distance/fuel consumption: 30 miles a/per galleon
Frequency/time: twice a/per day

The definite article: the

Basic uses of the
When using the, we must always bear in mind two basic facts:
1) The normally has a definite reference (i.e. the person or
thing referred to is assumed to be known to the speaker or reader).
2) The can combine with singular countable, plural countable,
and uncountable nouns (which are always singular).
These two facts underlie all uses of the. Some of the most important
of these uses are discussed in the sections that follow.

The use of the for classifying

Specified groups: the + collective noun or plural countable
We can make general statements about specified groups with the +
collective nouns, such as the police, the public.
This new increase in fares wont please the public.
Many plural countables can be used in a collective sense in the same
way when particular groups are picked out from the rest of the human
community: e.g. the bosses, the unions.

The use of the for specifying

When we use the, the listener or reader can already identify what we
are referring to, therefore the shows that the noun has been specified
by the context/situation or grammatically. For example:

Specifying by means of back-reference

Something that has been mentioned is referred to again:
Singleton is a quiet village near Chichester. The village has
a population of a few hundred people.

Specifying by means of clauses and phrases

We can specify a person, thing, etc. grammatically by means of the
+ clause or the + phrase:
The Smith youre looking for no longer lives here.
The letters on the shelf are four you.

Specifying within a limited context

The can be used in contexts which are limited enough for the listener
or reader to identify what is referred to.
Reference can be made to:
people: Whos at the door? Its the postman.

The zero article

The zero article: form and use
The use of nouns on their own without an article is so fundamental in
English that we should not regard this merely as the omission of the
article, i.e. as something negative. We should think of the non-use of
the article as something positive and give it a name: the zero
Basic uses of the zero article
We use the zero article before three types of nouns:
1) Plural countable nouns: e.g. beans
2) Uncountable nouns (always singular): e.g. water.
3) Proper nouns: e.g. John.
The can occur in front of plural countable and (singular) uncountable
in normal use to refer to specific items:
The pens I gave you were free samples.
The water we drank last night had a lot of chlorine in it.
The can even occur in front of names
The Chicago of the 1920s was a terrifying place.
Compare: Chicago is a well-run city today.
For a/an + uncountable
Articles are frequently not used in general statements in English
where they would be required in other European languages. Examples
are given in the sections that follow.
Unique items: zero article + proper nouns
Zero article + names of people, titles
First names: Elizabeth was my mothers name.
Surnames: These tools are made by Jackson and Son.
Full names: Elizabeth Brown works for this company.
Initials: J. Somers is the pseudonym of a famous author.
Mr and Mrs Jackson are here to see you.
May I introduce you to Captain/Colonel/Major Rogers?

Yes, Captain/Colonel/Major!

Times of the day and night: Combinations are common with: at,
by, after and before. Eg: at dawn/daybreak, by day/night, before
morning, etc.
For meals (breakfast, lunch, tea,etc): the zero articles is used
after have (Eg: Lets have breakfast) but note the use of the
where a meal is specified (the breakfast I ordered still hasnt
After what and such: the noun is stressed after what/such
is stressed before the noun:
a. Plural countable nouns:
What fools they are!
we had such problems getting trough Customs
b. singular uncountable nouns:
what freedom young people enjoy nowadays!
Young people enjoy such freedom nowadays!
8) To count or quantify an uncountable noun we use a unit of
measurement a measure word. For example, we cannot
usually say two breads because bread is uncountable. So, if
we want to specify a quantity of bread we use a measure word
such as loaf or slice in a structure like two loaves of bread
or two slices of bread We call this structure a partitive
The word partitive indicates that only part of a whole is
being referred to. The partitive structure using a measure word
is common with uncountable nouns, for example: two cups of
coffee, several games of tennis, a drop of water; but it
can also be used with countable nouns, for example: a series
of accidents, two boxes of matches, a can of worms
9) A pronoun is a word that can be used in place of a noun or a
noun phrase, as the word itself tell us: pro-noun. We do not
normally put a noun after a pronoun except in special
combinations such as you students, she-bear, etc.

9) The main differences between pronouns and nouns are the

CASE: Nouns and most pronouns in English have only two
cases: Common Case: (children, somebody) and GENETIVE
CASE (childrens, somebodys)
PERSON: Personal, possessive, and reflexive pronoun have,
unlike nouns, distinction of person: 1st person: the speaker
(singular I/plural we) 2nd person: the person addressed (you)
3rd person: the rest (one or more person or things mentioned,
singular: he/she/it; plural: they)
English makes no difference between singular and plural
number in the second person except for reflexive pronouns:
Richard, you ought to be ashamed of yourself
Children, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves
GENDER: the 3rd person singular of personal, reflexive and
possessive pronouns is further distinguished by over (natural)
gender: masculine he/him/himself/his, feminine:
she/her/herself/hers, neutral: it/itself/its. Relative pronouns also
manifest a distinction between personal (who, whom) and non-
personal (which) NUMBER: the number system of pronouns is
different from that of nouns (the personal pronoun WE in the
first person does not denote more than I but I plus one or
more others) indicate some combinations.

10) Pronoun Subclasses

11) Personal Pronouns:

Though these words are called personal pronouns, they do not refer
only to people. For example:
Your breakfast is ready. It is on the table
We call them personal pronouns because they refer to grammatical
entities (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and can be grouped like this:
1st Person: I, We
2nd Person: You
3rd Person: he, she, it, one, they
The choice of pronoun depends on the noun that is being replaced.
Pronouns (Except for you) agree with the nouns they replace in
number (showing us whether they are referring to singular or plural).
Some agree in gender (showing us whether they are referring to
masculine, feminine or neuter):
John is here. He (replacing John) cant stay long.

Personal pronouns have different contrasts:

Person contrast: they have a separate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person
forms. It distinguishes the speakers or writer (1 st Person) from the
addressee (2nd Person) and from those persons or things which are
neither (3rd person).

Number contrast: Singular and plural. It has to be treated
separately for each of three persons of pronouns.
- With 3rd Person: Number is closest in value to that with nouns: A
male officer and a woman officer interrogated the prisoner but
the officers disagreed over procedure, He and she interrogated
the prisoner buy they disagreed over procedure.
- With 2nd person: there is a number contrast only in the reflexive
pronoun: Look at your hand, Jack; youve cut yourself, Keep
your voices down, children; you must behave yourselves
- 1st Person:
Gender contrast: It has a three-way distinction on the 3rd person
singular with masculine, feminine and nonpersonal forms.
Case Contrast: Subjective and Objective
Subject pronouns
Subject pronouns nearly always come before a verb in statements.
They are used when the person or thing referred to can be identified
by both speaker and hearer:
John didnt find us in so he left a message.
The first person singular: 'I'
The speaker or writer uses I when referring to himself or herself.
This is the only personal pronoun which is always spelt with a capital
The second person singular and plural: 'you'
We use this when we address another person, or two or more people
Are you ready Jill, Or Are you (both/all) ready?
The third person singular masculine: 'he'
He stands for a male person who has already been mentioned:
Dont expect David to accept your invitation Hes far too busy.
The third person singular feminine: 'she'
She stands for a female person who has already been mentioned
Ask Jennifer if sheII be home in time for dinner.

The third person singular neutral: 'it'

It can refer to a thing, a quality, an event, a place, etc. We can also
use it to identify people, or when we dont kno the sex of a baby,
child, or animal.
- That vase is valuable. Its more than 200 years old
- Loyalty must be earned. It cant be bought
- Theres a knock at the door. Who is it? Its the postman.
- Whos that? -Its our new next-door neighbour Mrs Smith.
The first person plural: 'we' (two or more people)
We can include the listener or not:
- Let's go shall we? (including the listener)
- Were staying here What about you? (not including the
The third person plural: 'they' (two or more people, things, etc.)
They can stand for persons, animals or things already mentioned
John and Susan Theyre coming round this evening.
Look at those cows! They never stop eating.
Our curtains look They need a good wash.
Object pronouns
Object pronouns replace nouns in object positions. They can be:
- Direct objects: Have you met Marilyn? Ive never met her
- Indirect objects: If you see Jim give him my regards
- Objects of prepositions: I really feel sorry for them
In polite usage it is usual to avoid mentioning yourself first.
They were met by John and me. (in preference to me and John)
We often use both and all with you to avoid ambiguity (since you can
refer to both or all)
Good luck to you both/all.
Us is often used very informally in place of me, particularly after the
imperatives of verbs like give and pass
Give us a hand with this trunk will you?
The reflexives
Form of reflexive pronouns
Singular: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself
Plural: ourselves, yourselves, themselves

Reflexive pronouns are really compounds formed from possessive:

Adjectives + -self; e.g. myself yourse"; or from object pronouns +
-self: e.g. himself.
The reflexive pronouns are always coreferential with a noun or
another pronoun, agreeing with it in gender, number and person:

Example Reflexive coreferential

Veronica herself saw the Veronica (As appositive
accident subject)
The dog was scratching itself The dog (As indirect
He and his wife poured He and his wife (As
themselves a drink indirect object)

Obligatory use of reflexive pronouns after certain verbs
There are only a very few verbs in English which must always be
followed by a reflexive pronoun: e.g.: absent, avail, pride. The soldier
absented himself without leave for three weeks.

Other verbs are very commonly followed by reflexives: e.g.amuse,
blame, cut, dry, enjoy, hurt, introduce. I cut myself shaving this
morning, We really enjoyed ourselves at the funfair

The important thing to remember is that verbs of this kind are never
followed by object pronouns (me, him, her, etc.) when the subject and
object refer to the same person:
I've cut myself (Not me)

Reflexive pronouns as objects of ordinary verbs

Reflexive pronouns can be used after many ordinary verbs if we wish
to point back to the subject:
- I got such a shock when I saw myself in the mirror.
Reflexives can be used as indirect objects:
- The boss gave himself a rise (= gave a rise to himself)

Reflexive pronouns as objects of prepositions
Reflexive pronouns can occur after prepositions which often follow
verbs, nouns or adjectives:
- Look after yourself!
- Lucy's looking very pleased with herself
In combination with adverb particles the reflexive comes between the
verb and the particle:
- We gave ourselves up
- We pulled ourselves out (of the water)
Reflexives can be used for emphasis after but and than:
- You can blame no one but yourself (= except yourself)
- Harry would like to marry a girl younger than himself

The possessives

o They show possession, that is to say that someone or something belongs
to somebody, they answer the question Whose?
o Most of the possessive pronouns differ in form according as they function
as determiners or as independent items:
These are Miriams books These books are Miriams.
Her hers.
That is my bicycle That bicycle is mine
Wich are their clothes? Which clothes are theirs?
Is this his car? Is this car his?
Those are its paw-marks Those paw-marks are its

o Their form is regulated by the possessor not by the thing possessed:

His refers to possession by a male: Johns daughter (=his daughter)
Her refers to possession by a female: Janes son (=her son)
Its refer to possession by an animal or thing: The cats milk (=its milk)
o The possessive pronouns mine, yours, etc are never used in front of
nouns. They refer equally to persons and things, singular or plural. Its
never used as pronoun.
These are my children. These children are mine
These are my things. These things are mine
I cant find my pen. Can you lend me yours?

Relative Pronouns
Relative pronouns comprise two series:
1) Wh-items: who, whom, whose, which.
2) That and zero.
With who and whom the antecedent must have personal gender,
with which it must have nonpersonal gender, with whose the
antecedent is usually personal but can also be nonpersonal. Thus:

- Are you the doctor who looked after my daughter?

- That is the hospital which is to be expanded
- That is the doctor/hospital whose phone number I gave you

That can be used without reference to the gender of the antecedent
or the function within the relative clause, except that it cannot be
preceded by preposition:

The that pleased me
The that I admired is new to London
that I was attracted to

Zero has a similar range, lacking only the subject function:
The I admired is new to London
The play I was attracted to

Interrogative pronouns
There are five interrogative pronouns: who, whom, whose, which and

Whose as well as who and whom can be used only with reference to
items of personal gender; nor is whose restricted to determiner
function. While whom can function only as the objective case, who
can be both subjective and (especially in speech) objective except
after a preposition. Eg:
- Who owns this house?
- Who(m) does this house belong to?
- To whom does this house belong? (formal)
- Whose is this house?

With which, reference can be both personal and nonpersonal:

- Of these cars/students, which is the best/do you like most?

When what is used as a pronoun, the questioner assumes that the

reference is nonpersonal:
- What is in that box?
- What were you wearing that day?
Demonstrative Pronouns
The demonstratives have the same formal range and semantic
contrast both as pronouns and as determiners, this/these suggesting
relative proximity to the speaker, that/those relative remoteness:

this that
picture picture
We shall her ove
compare e r
wit ther
h e
these those
picture picture
s s

Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are heterogeneous in form and they embrace also

a wide range both of meanings and of grammatical properties. They
are characterized as a whole, however, by having a general and
nonspecific reference which the term 'indefinite' seeks to capture.
Equally, they are characterized by having functions directly involved
in expressing quantity, from totality ('all') to its converse ('nothing').
Reference in some cases invokes gender, such that items in -body
are personal, items in -thing nonpersonal. Quantification in some
cases invokes countability and number, such that each is singular
count, both dual count, while some may be noncount or plural count.
Several of the indefinites can function both as determiners and as
pronouns, as we shall see in what follows.

The universal items

We may first consider the compound indefinites (everyone,
everybody, everything, no one, nobody, nothing), noting that all
except no one are written as single words. These function only as
pronouns, and despite their entailment of plural meaning they take
singular verbs:
- The room was full of youngsters and everyone/everybody was
listening intently to the speeches.
- I appealed to the whole crowd, but no one/nobody was willing to
get up and speak.
- Father was very particular about how his tools were arranged in the
workshop; he knew where everything was supposed to be and he
insisted that nothing was ever to be misplaced.

None is not restricted to singular reference, though plurals like the

following are objectionable to some users:
- Hundreds were examined but none were acceptable.

With all/ and both, we make plural and dual universal reference:
- The factory produces luxury cars and all are for export.
- Police interviewed the (two) suspects and both were arrested.

These two items also have a predeterminer function:

- AII these cars arc for export.
- Both (the) suspects were arrested.

The converse of all is no(ne); that of both is neither, usually with

singular verb concord:
- Police interviewed the (two) suspects but neither was arrested.

It has a parallel determiner function:

- Neither suspect was arrested.

o Quirk A comprehensive grammar book
o Advanced Learners Grammar Book
o Learningenglish.britishcouncil.org
o Oxford Grammar Book