Posted by: episystechpubs | January 26, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Piglet’s Last Stand

Good morning! I hope you all enjoyed a splendid weekend wherever you were. Let’s start where we left off on Thursday, with adjectives. We are going to categorize adjectives today in ways you never dreamed possible. According to our handy-dandy textbook, The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage:

Adjectives can be subdivided into two main classes: determiners and descriptive adjectives.

Today we’re going to concentrate on determiners. Determiners are further classified into different groups, but they have one thing in common. They always come before descriptive adjectives. Here are five of the subclasses and examples:

· articles: the, a, an (Note: Articles are sometimes considered separately as their own part of speech.)

· demonstratives: this, that, these, those

· number words:

o cardinal numbers: one, two, three

o ordinal numbers: first, second, third

o words indicating order: first, last, middle

· possessives used as adjectives:

o Chico’s (dog), Buster’s (yard)

o (possessive pronouns): his, their, our, its, her

· quantifiers: few, some, several, many

Now together with a descriptive adjective, you can see that these must always come before the descriptive adjective and noun. Here are a few examples, with the determiners in italics and the descriptive adjectives in bold:

· the first pickled pepper

· that piglet’s stinky sty

· a few wrinkly sheets

As you can see, the determiners must come first. It is incorrect to say “stinky piglet’s that sty.”

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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