Distributive adjectives

Words which refer to indefinite quantities, or to definite but unknown people and objects, are called determiners. There are two types of determiners: quantitative adjectives and distributive adjectives.

Notes

Distributive adjectives are normally used with singular nouns. They include all, every, each, both, either and neither.

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Distributive adjectives - Video

WATCH THE VIDEO AND REPEAT:

"ALL MY FRIENDS AND I GO TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY.

THIS YEAR WE HAVE A NEW TABLET EACH.

MY FRIEND LISA GOES TO ANOTHER SCHOOL. BOTH OF US PLAY TENNIS."

All, all of

ALL means "every one" or "the complete number or amount". We use it before a countable noun or an uncountable noun.

  • I want to read all the books on the shelf.
  • I read all the time.

When ALL refers to a whole class of people or things, we don’t use THE:

  • All my friends are on holidays.
  • All children love stories.

We use ALL OF before personal pronouns (Me, you, us, them...):

  • All of us are late.
  • All of you are tired.

 

Watch out! We don't use THE with time expressions:

  • We play all day - all night - all morning - all week...

Another, other

ANOTHER and SOME MORE mean "additional" or "one more":

  • Give me another book, please.
  • Would you like another biscuit?
  • Do you want some moreorange juice?
  • I've got some more homework.

OTHER means "different" or "the second of two items":

  • The other day I went back home.
  • The other friends come from London.

When OTHER is a pronoun, it becomes THE OTHERS:

  • Where are the others?

 

Download the worksheet below and practise!

Every

We use EVERY + singular noun to refer individually to all the members of a complete group of something:

  • Every girl knows this song.
  • Every student plays tennis.

We use EVERY with a singular noun to refer to something that happens regularly:

  • I go to school every day.
  • I play tennis every Monday.

Each, each of

We use EACH to refer to the individual things or persons in a group of two or more. We use EACH with singular nouns:

  • Each student has a book.
  • Each child has a pen.

We use EACH OF with personal pronouns:

  • Each of them gave me a book.
  • Each of us has a schoolbag.

We use EACH after the price of things.

  • These books cost four euros each.
  • They have two euros each.

 

Download the worksheet below and practise!

Both, both of

We use BOTH to refer to two things or people together:

  • They are both tired.
  • Both my friends are clever.

We use BOTH OF before a personal pronoun:

  • Both of us are tired.
  • Both of you are tall.

We use BOTH + adjective AND + adjective to emphasise the link between two things.

  • She is both nice and clever.
  • I like both books and movies.

 

Download the worksheet below and practise!

Either, either of

We use EITHER before a singular countable noun to talk about two choices or possibilities:

  • Where should I go? You can go either way
  • Either day is ok!
  • We can go to either restaurant.

We use EITHER OF with personal pronouns and demonstrative adjectives:

  • Either of you can do this.
  • I know either of these books.

We use EITHER ... OR ... when there are two possibilities.

  • You can have either still water or sparkling water.
  • Either you go or I go.
  • I speak either French or English, as you prefer.

 

Neither, neither of

We use NEITHER to make a negative statement about two people or things at the same time

  • Neither day is ok!
  • Neither boy is here.

We use NEITHER OF with personal pronouns, possessive and demonstrative adjectives and THE:

  • Neither of you is right.
  • Neither of my sisters play tennis.
  • I know neither of these books.

We use NEITHER ... NOR ... to connect two or more negative alternatives:

  • Neither she nor I is tired.
  • Neither you go nor I go.
  • I speak neither French nor English. 
  • I neither write nor phone to my friends.
     

Download the worksheet below and practise!