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What is a Determiner?

Determining Determiners: The Clarifying Words

Most of us know what a noun or verb is in the English language. However, there’s a key article of speech that’s just as important to learn: the determiner. Quick tip: After you learn about these clarifying words, look at this useful reference for more information.

What is a Determiner?

Essentially, these words explain whether you’re speaking about something general or something specific. In addition, it can tell your reader or listener how much or how many of something you’re referring to. Let’s discuss these clarifying words, learn why they’re necessary, and discover how to use them properly. Working on your next writing assignment? Learn how to style your paper correctly using MLA format and APA format.

Determiner Definition

You place clarifying words before the noun it is referring to. This gives the reader more information about the noun. Some clarifying words include aanandthethatthisyourours, and its.
Our cat is sleeping and dreaming.
The book is used for research purposes.
You can identify clarifying words by locating the word just before a noun. These words can also appear before adjectives that may be describing a noun. Does your teacher require a different formatting style than APA or MLA for your upcoming writing assignment? Discover more styles to use while formatting your papers. Note: the word and in the sentence about the cat is a conjunction.

Two Main Categories

There are two categories of determiners, general and specific. Use general words when you can’t remember the specifics and are not referring to a specific person or thing. Some main general words are aanmanyotherwhat, etc.
Many dogs were barking last night.
Use specific words to refer to something specific. The main ones include themyyourhisher, etc.
My bird was singing all day.

List of Determiners

There are four types of determiner words in the English language. These types are known as articles, demonstratives, possessives, and quantifiers. Let's look at a few examples of each different type. Articles are words such as aan, and the. Demonstratives include thisthesethat and those. Quantifiers are specific. They include manymucha lot ofmostsome, and any. A possessive pronoun is a clarifying word. For instance, myyourshishers, and their. As a bonus, you can even call numbers such as oneten, and twenty clarifying words. Now that you understand what clarifying words are and how to use them, why not try this helpful grammar checker from BibMe Plus. It’ll help you correct grammar mistakes in your writing and even detect plagiarism! Check out our other grammar pages: AdverbPreposition, and Interjection. ...

What is a Conjunction

Conjunction: What's Your Function?

What is the standard conjunction definition? Basically, conjunctions are words that connect, coordinate or join words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. The three subcategories of connectors are coordinating, subordinating, and correlative words. Use this site to find more info about connection words.

What’s A Coordinating Word?

A coordinating conjunction joins words, phrases, and independent or main clauses together. They go in the middle of the sentence, directly after a comma, and usually in between other parts of speech, such as a nounpronoun, or verbAsforandornorbut, and so are coordinating connection words.
Paul bought a pizza, and John ordered a salad.
Sarah can take you to the mall, or we can all go swimming.

The Coordinating Conjunction Formula

It’s easy to build sentences with connector words. Just remember this simple formula. Independent Clause, + Connector + Independent Clause Independent clauses can stand on their own as complete sentences, so you use a comma to separate them. Need more help on the formal structure? Learn more here. For further reading on how it differs from other parts of speech, see our guides on how a preposition and an interjection are used in English.

Make Memorization Easy with this Mnemonic Device

You can easily remember all seven of these connectors by learning this mnemonic device FANBOYS: For explains reason.
Phil didn’t go to the concert, for he dislikes music.
And joins clauses or words together.
My sister really likes hamburgers and she also likes hot dogs.
Nor joins two negative alternatives.
We couldn’t see the movie because we didn’t have our tickets, nor did we have our receipts.
But joins contrasting ideas or exception.
David usually wears sunglasses, but he never wears them inside.
Or joins alternative ideas and shows option.
Either give me my money or I will call the police.
Yet means but or nevertheless.
Many people love to watch football on television, yet most have never played the game.
So shows us that the second idea is the consequence of the first.
Maria was absent from school, so the teacher called her parents.
Once you commit this mnemonic device to memory, why not learn about citing your work using MLA format? Or, check out some of our other pages such as adverb, conjunction, and adjectives.

Subordinating Conjunctions Definition

Subordinating connectors join dependent and independent clauses by providing a transition word for the sentence. This type of word lets you connect more information, known as the dependent clause, to the main idea, called the independent clause. A short list of subordinating connectors includes: afteralthoughasbeforebecauseeveneven thoughif onlyonceuntilwhether, and while. Quick tip: Need more help with subordinating words? Test out the grammar and plagiarism check from BibMe Plus! There are two ways to use subordinating conjunctions. Formula one: Independent Clause + Connector + Dependent (subordinate) Clause
I bought a fur coat even though my family wouldn’t like it.
Formula two: Connector + Dependent Clause, + Independent Clause.
Even though my family wouldn’t like it, I bought a fur coat anyway.
Subordinating words also help the reader understand which of the two ideas is more important. The more important idea belongs in the independent clause, the less important is in the dependent clause. Since you have subordinating connectors down, take a short break and learn about APA format.

Connecting Definition

Connecting words are correlative when they come in pairs such as…as, neither…nor, and whether…or. You use correlative words together throughout one sentence.
As many as ten thousand people were affected by the earthquake.
In conclusion, the function of the conjunction is to connect a sentence that no one should tear apart! Now that you understand connecting words, try out BibMe Plus! It has tools that can make citations for APA, MLA, and more styles within minutes. Looking for more? Take a peek at two other helpful pages from BibMe: research and determiner. ...

What is an Adverb?

Adverbs: Learning the Describing Words

What is an adverb? These words, as you'll soon discover, perform many different functions in the English language. But sometimes they are difficult to identify, as there isn’t a set rule on where describing words go in a sentence. After reading this article, you'll understand how to creatively express yourself using describing words. You’ll also know how to identify when someone uses a describing word in writing or speaking. After reading this guide, check out this informative reference.

What is an adverb?

An adverb is a word that describes or modifies verbs, adjectives, clauses, and other adverbs. We use it to give additional information about other words.
She drives fast.
In this sentence the word fast describes the verb drives.
The dog is very small.
In this sentence the word very describes the adjective small.
The students always talk loudly in the library.
In this sentence the word loudly describes the verb talk. Notice that each example describes the sentence verb and not the noun; adjectives help describe nouns, not adverbs. Want a different adverb definition? Click this site to learn more.

Adverb definition

There are three things to remember while using describing words. First, they usually give background information by telling the reader where, when, why, or how something happens. Second, there are different types of describing words which perform their own functions. Third, you can place describing words anywhere in a sentence. Finally, some describing words are easy to recognize because many end in -ly. Quick tip: Use this resource to learn about citing sources using MLA format.

Different Types of Describing Words

These different types of describing words have their own unique functions. Let's look at a few of them. Words describing place tell you where an action happens. Examples are down, there, up, and inside.
Johnny swims here.
Time words tell you when an action takes place. Examples are today, tomorrow, later, and now.
He played soccer yesterday.
Words about manner tell you how an action happens. Examples include the word sometimes, usually, always, and never.
My mother calls me daily.
Quick tip: Discover who should use APA format while citing work and why it’s important to know.

What is an interrogative adverb?

Interrogatives are words at the beginning of a sentence that ask questions. Examples include: Where, when, why, how much, and how often.
Where did she go?
When did she get there?
Why did she go there?
How much time did it take for her to get there?
How often does she go there?
If you were wondering about “who,” it is considered an interrogative pronoun. Also, what, which, and whosecould each be considered an interrogative determiner.

Additional Adverb Examples

Words that modify verbs often describe the way an action happens.
My mail ordinarily comes late.
She speaks English fluently.
That woman dances gracefully.
Words that modify adjectives often describe the degree of intensity.
Your book is more interesting than mine.
The model was wearing a dark blue coat.
Gee, why are you singing so softly?
Fun fact: “Gee” is an interjection. Words that modify another adverb go directly before the first one and intensifies it.
My teacher speaks incredibly loud.
Our Internet is ridiculously slow.
The fruits of Peru are strangely delicious.
As you can see, describing words really help clarify how things happen in your writing and speaking. Use them to add variety to your papers and homework assignments. Now go forth and use describing words freely, creatively, and with confidence. Show your teachers and the world that you know how to write colorfully! Yearning to expand your grammar knowledge? We also have guides on using a preposition and what is a conjunction. Are you working on and doing research on your next school paper? Save some time during the writing process by using the BibMe Plus plagiarism checker. It could save you (and your teacher) a lot of time and hassle. BibMe Plus also comes with tools that can create citations in APA format, MLA format, and more styles of citing within minutes. Check it out! ...

What is an Adjective?

Adjectives: The Coolest Words in English

An adjective is a word that modifies and gives more information about a noun or pronoun. We often use these words to create vibrant sentences with flair and flavor. In addition, they provide background information, such as facts or opinions, about each noun. Here’s a informative site that describes how words modify nouns. As an example, let’s discuss this simple sentence:
Her boyfriend drove his car to the prom.
Pretty dull and boring right? That’s because there aren’t any describing words giving us more information about the people, places, or things. Now, look at this sentence…
Her good-looking boyfriend drove his brand spanking, new, red sports car to the prom.
Much better, isn’t it? It’s easy to capture the attention of your reader with descriptive words. Plus, they paint a clear picture while bringing your sentences to life. Quick tip: Citing your work is just as important as understanding modifying words. Impress your teacher on your next paper by reading about APA format before you continue. Interjections can also bring sentences to life. Click here to learn more about adding an interjection into your writing.

What are the Easy to Use Modifying Words?

Here is a list of adjectives that you may find easy to use. They include: First, last, some, good, bad, any, new, old, young, long, all, short, large, small, few, early, and late. In the list above there are two different categories of describing words. They’re known as qualitative and quantitative describing words. Let’s learn more about these interesting words. Already have modifying words down? Discover the skills of serious scholars by taking notes on MLA format instead.

Qualitative Adjective Definition

First, there are qualitative words. These describe certain qualities. For instance, tall, bad, young, and big are qualitative words.
John is very tall and slender for his age, unlike his small, stout cousin.
Next, we have qualitative words. These words don’t deal with characteristics. Instead, quantitative words explain quantity. You can tell the quantity of a noun with words like some, any, all, and few.
Can you give me back all my money, or at least half?
Thus, qualitative words explain your personal judgement, while quantitative words describe the quantity. Need additional help with describing words for an upcoming paper? BibMe Plus’s nifty grammar check gives helpful tips. Looking for information about other parts of speech? Check out these two pages: Verb and Adverb.

What is an Adjective? Here Are the Different Types.

Here are some other categories of modifying words to learn. Understanding this list of adjectives will improve your English skills. Appearance words include clean, dirty, handsome, ugly and plain.
Her magnificent technicolored coat was the most glamorous garment I had ever seen.
Feeling words include happy, sad, kind, lovely, pleasant and successful.
I felt strangely confident and surprisingly comfortable while handing in my research assignment last week.
Shape words include curved, chubby, fat, thin, deep, shallow, etc.
The straight, narrow shape of the house was very different from the other houses on the block.
Did you know that all colors like red, blue, orange and green also modify nouns? Click here to learn more about describing words and how they modify sentences.

What’s the Order of Modifying Words in a Sentence?

Adjective use comes with a few rules. Generally, they appear immediately before nouns and pronouns, but there are always exceptions.
Our plain, old-fashioned garden yielded juicy, bright red tomatoes.
Sometimes, however, they come after the noun.
The apple, green and cool, tasted delicious on that hot afternoon.
They can even come immediately after possessive words like my, your, his, her, its, ours and theirs.
My silver-tongued friend is always getting other people to pay for his lunch.
Or they appear after demonstratives such as this, that, these, and those.
Those three chocolate chip cookies are mine.
So, in conclusion if your friend ever asks you, “what is an adjective?” you can reply, “it makes your writing and speaking more interesting by adding clarity to sentences.” It’s something you’ll never forget if you remember to be bold and be brilliant by using creative modifying words. Before you go, why not save time on your next academic assignment? Learn how BibMe Plus makes citing sources using APA, MLA, and more styles incredibly easy. We understand that parts of speech and grammar can be tricky. That’s why we created other helpful pages. Learn more about what a prepositionconjunction, and determiner are. ...

8 Classic Games Perfect to Prevent Writer’s Block

If you’re pulling your hair out because you're stuck writing, we know the feeling. Writer's block can happen after hours of concentration because you're mentally taxed.  Fortunately, there is an easy solution: taking a study break. It's important to take a regular break every hour so you can keep your mind fresh and ideas flowing. Here are some fun classic games you can play that are perfect for a study break. 


What could be simpler and easier to pick up than a simple word search? You know what to do—check your word bank, and hunt down every word in the puzzle to win!


Freecell Solitaire is a great game to practice patience and focus. In this game, you try to move your cards from eight foundation piles into four sequential suits from ace through king. However, you may only play the top card of each pile, moving cards from pile to pile in alternating colors. You have to use your wits and move carefully to avoid locking yourself out of any possible plays and losing the game!

Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire is another form of Solitaire that’s great for practicing your strategic thinking skills. In Spider, you’re trying to arrange all 13 cards in every suit from ace through king by moving cards from piles in sequential order. However, some cards are dealt face down meaning you must use face-up cards before the entire deck is available. Additionally, the game is played with two decks, so you have eight suits in total to stack up before you win the game.


If word games are more your thing, Boggle is a surprisingly simple and fun game to play alone. While Boggle is typically played with other players, you can just as easily compete with yourself to improve your mastery of word puzzles. Simply jumble the letters on the board and play the game normally, tallying your score as you go along. You can even input your board onto a Boggle solver tool online to see how many words were available on your board that you didn’t see!


Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games in the world, and it’s so simple that anyone can learn to play it yet so challenging that even the greatest puzzle masters can be stumped by their trickery. Sudoku is played on a 9x9 grid further broken down into smaller 9x9 grids for a total of 81 spaces. Within each grid, your goal is to input the digits 1-9 such that each digit appears only once. However, inside of the larger 9x9 grid, each row and column of 9 spaces must also only contain each digit one time.  Simply put, you must create sequences of the digits 1-9 across every row and column of the board while inputting the digits only once each inside of each sub-grid. Sudoku puzzles will start you off with a handful of starting digits already filled in, and you must complete your puzzle around these given inputs. 


Mahjong is a tile-based strategy game that has been popular in Asia for centuries. The goal of the game is to collect sets of matching tiles to form hands. As your tiles are picked up, progress through turns and winning combinations are triggered. Players start the game with 13 tiles each. Each player is assigned a wind (West-North-East-South). Five tiles will be placed in each hand upon the start of the game, and then the player picks a tile from the wall. The game proceeds in a counter-clockwise fashion, similar to Yahtzee or The Resistance. Players may choose to discard their turn as well as they seem fit.


Hearts is a trick-taking game that requires 4 players, an equal number of decks with Aces high and 2's low, and a standard 52 playing card deck. The objective of the game is to have as few points as possible when someone reaches 100 points — achieving a winning hand. Each player is dealt cards until each has 13.  After all the cards are dealt, the pass phase begins. Each player picks three and passes to an opponent. After all the cards have been dealt, the lead player plays a card face-up onto the center of the table. For the first trick, the player holding the 2 of clubs plays it onto the table. Then each player in turn also plays one card from their hand, face-up, onto the center of the table. Once all players have played a card, the player who played the highest card of the suit led wins the trick.


In this game, you walk through a field littered with hidden mines. You can only advance if you've crossed a safe square. There are lots of mines, and you must guess which squares might have mines on them. When guessing, consider the number of surrounding squares that contain mines. You are presented with a grid of squares. Some squares contain mines, and others don't. If you click on a square containing a mine, your game ends. If you manage to click all the squares (without clicking on any mines) you win. Clicking a square that doesn't have a mine reveals the number of neighboring squares containing mines. Use this information plus some guesswork to avoid the mines. ...

4 Ways to Have Fun Writing a Paper

We hear from our users all the time that writing a paper is tough. From thinking of your topic idea, to doing research, to outlining, and finally to writing and revising your paper, each step has its own challenges.  Just thinking about your assignment can be stressful, and that’s an issue. That anxiety alone can hinder your creativity to give you the spark you need to get started, or worse, you may just postpone your paper until you’re trying to scrape something together to meet your deadline.  Instead of thinking of writing a paper as painful, it can be quite the opposite. It can be fun! Here are four ways to gamify writing your paper. Not only will you enjoy the process, but you’ll hopefully produce some of your best writing. 

1. Play games regularly 

You’re trying to write more, but nothing is flowing. Eventually, you just can’t seem to write. We’re sure you know this feeling. The stress of writing a paper oftentimes leads to writer’s block.  One surprisingly great way to address this is to take regular breaks. That might mean for every 45 minutes or writing, you take a 15 minute break.  Make your break activity something fun. Try playing solitaire, which isn’t addictive, and allows you to get back to work. You’ll find that your mind is cleared and you’re ready to write again. 

2. Sing aloud

That probably sounds absurd, but hear us out. Singing taps into our creative processes and allows us to get past inhibitions. It can give you the creative spark you need to start writing and formulating your ideas.  Simply start singing about your topic. Don’t worry about how you sound. See what you end up singing about and record it. You might find some serious inspiration.  And if you don’t like singing, try rapping. Come up with a beat you like, and let your thoughts out. Not only might you be surprised by how good you sound, you’ll have fun and hopefully produce some good ideas.  With singing or rapping, you’re getting outside your comfort zone, which is exactly what you want. It leads to out of box thinking that can generate great ideas for your paper. 

3. Have a competition

Perhaps you're a competitive person. When playing sports or board games, you really want to win.  If you’re this type of person, try finding someone similar in your class. Make a friendly bet on reaching milestones in the paper. For example, the last to finish the outline has to buy lunch.  To really bring out some good writing, make a bet with a classmate on getting good grades on both your papers. For example, make a collective bet that your average grade will be an A-. Help each other out for each step of the paper. With that type of mutual support, not only will it lead to a good friendship, but also better writing. 

4. Try “Gone in 60 seconds” mode

Chances are you have a lot of strong ideas, but sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar are getting in the way of expressing your thoughts.  Try free wheeling it. Give yourself 30 minutes, and set a goal of writing 500 words. Get all your ideas out like a car racing through the track. Don’t worry if your sentences flow or not. The whole purpose is to create an environment to get your ideas out, and to have fun while doing it.  Once you’re done, comb through the ideas you like and that can form the basis of your paper. And, if you’re able to write 500 words in 30 minutes, treat yourself for hitting the goal. 

Have a blast!

Writing a paper doesn’t have to feel like a slog. Make it fun and try some of these techniques. You might create some of your best work. Good luck!
Need to cite sources for your paper? Try BibMe citation tools to easily create references in MLA citation formatAPA referencing, and Chicago manual of style. ...