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Determiners versus Pronouns

Many determiners are also pronouns, and it's important to understand the difference.

A determiner occurs at the beginning of a noun phrase and in some way qualifies the rest of the noun phrase. A determiner cannot exist alone:

  • Those classic songs were great.
  • My car is the big one.

A pronoun can take the place of a whole noun phrase:

  • Those were great classic songs.
  • Those were great.
  • Mine is the big one.

Most determiners and pronouns are exactly the same word: either (determiner) and either (pronoun)

A few determiners and pronouns are close but not exactly the same: my (determiner) and mine (pronoun)

Here are some examples of determiners that have a pronoun equivalent:

determiners pronouns
this, that
these, those
this, that
these, those
some, any some, any
no none
many/much many/much
enough, several enough, several
more, most more, most
either, neither either, neither
each each
all, half, both all, half, both
possessives (see full list below)
my/his etc mine/his etc
what, which, whose what, which, whose

Here is a full list of possessive determiners and pronouns:

determiners pronouns
my mine
your yours
our ours
their theirs