Reply to "Determiners and Adjectives"


Please accept my apologies for this delayed response.  I've had to take a hiatus for reasons I won't go into.  On top of that, I have to admit that I was hard pressed to conceive an answer to your question.  Since then, however, two things have happened that have helped me to formulate an answer.

One is that a fellow member, MissSalinas (aka Ceci), has brought to our attention that there are many types of adjectives:


MissSalinas goes on to cite her source, which is nothing less than a textbook by Betty Azar and Stacy Hagen, whose names appear at the masthead of this website.

Let me quote from their book Basic English Grammar:

(b) a beautiful young woman

(c) a beautiful red car

(d) a beautiful Greek island

 The adjective beautiful expresses an opinion.  Opinion adjectives usually come before all other adjectives.  In (b): opinion precedes age.  In (c): opinion precedes color.  In (d): opinion precedes nationality.

I don't know whether I've made my mind up whether I agree that determiners (which includes possessive forms of nouns, even proper nouns, as well as pronouns) can or can't be considered a type of adjective.  I do understand and respect the point of view of David and other proponents of "modern linguistics", but I believe that this is a science in its nascent state.  I honestly hope that David and I will work together to help bring about the next generation.

As to your earlier question (and again, I beg your pardon for the lateness of my response), I would say that "good", "better", and "best" are all proper adjectives.  I can imagine "better" as a determiner:

  • Better men have challenged me.

But it still seems to be an adjective.  Compare:

  • Four men have challenged me.
  • Ugly men have challenged me.


PS: Special thanks and love to Ms Azar and her associate, Ms Van Etten, for sending me an actual copy of the aforementioned text, and other things.