Differences between Pronouns and Determiners

Basically, grammar is a part of linguistics that focuses on the structure of words, as well as the way they are combined to form sentences, including morphology and syntax. In other words, grammar is the set of norms and rules used to speak and write a language correctly, determining the characteristics, structure and morphology of words.

In this sense, grammar is responsible for determining the uses and functions of the different types of words, among which pronouns and determiners are mentioned, which will be described in this article, in order to point out the most important differences that exist between them.


First of all, the word pronoun has its etymological origin in the Latin word -pronomen-, which can be translated as -instead of name-. Thus, pronouns are the words or morphemes that are used to replace a name or noun, that is, to take its place.

Therefore, the pronoun is used to designate a thing without using its name, be it common or proper. There are different types of pronouns, their classification is due to the type of noun they replace and what you want to express from it. Consequently, we find that different pronouns, below we mention some:

  • Personal pronouns: refer to people, animals or objects (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they).
  • Demonstrative pronouns : they mark a relationship of spatial reference (this, that, that, those, among others.).
  • Possessive pronouns : they refer to the possession of objects (mine, yours, theirs, ours, yours, theirs, among others.).
  • Indefinite pronouns : they indicate the identity of the object but do not indicate its quantity (some, many, none, among others).

Finally, pronouns are always personal, that is, they refer to the speaker (1st person), the listener (2nd person) and the one who is neither speaker nor listener but who is being talked about (3rd person).


  • I do not like this at all.
  • Someone has come today.
  • How many have come?


Briefly, determiners are used to indicate the object to which they refer and delimit their meaning. Thus, a determiner is a type of adjective that accompanies the noun, identifies it and specifies its meaning.

There are basically four types of determinants:

  • The predetermining ones : they are the ones that can be placed in front of the other determining ones.
  • The actualizers : they place the noun phrase nucleus in space and time with greater or lesser precision (article, possessive and demonstrative).
  • Quantifiers : are those determiners that measure the core of the noun phrase, such as numerals, cardinals, ordinals, multiplicatives, dividers, distributives, and intensives.
  • The interrogative-exclamative: also called emphasizers, are used to ask about the core of the noun phrase or to emphasize it.


  • I like this car a lot.
  • I have some watches.
  • Your glasses are broken.

To conclude, determiners are always articles that normally go before the noun and coincide in gender and number with it.

According to the above, the differences between pronouns and determiners are:

  • Pronouns are words that stand for a noun while determiners are words that accompany nouns.
  • The pronoun goes alone because it replaces a noun while the determiner accompanies the noun, so it cannot go alone.

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