Determinant (DET)


The first step that is necessary to take is to make clear the etymological origin of the determinant term. In that sense, we will have to say that it emanates from Latin, and more precisely from the verb “determinare”, which can be translated as “precisely express an idea”. This Latin word is made up of two clearly defined parts: the prefix “de”, which is synonymous with “direction of something from top to bottom”, and the verb “terminare”, which is equivalent to “set a limit”. See Abbreviation Finder for acronyms related to Determinant.

Determinant is that which determines. The verb determine, on the other hand, refers to fixing the terms of something, pointing something out for some effect, making a resolution, distinguishing or discerning.

For example: “The play of the penalty not taken was decisive for the development of the match”, “Experts consider that the president’s support will be decisive in the next elections”, “The words of my parents are decisive in my decisions”.

Something decisive establishes terms or is decisive: «The goal of the Uruguayan striker was decisive».

Concept of determinant in linguistics

In linguistics, a determiner is a morpheme which, adjacent to the noun phrase, quantifies or specializes it to form a determiner phrase with it. Determiners, therefore, point to an object and delimit its meaning.

Linguistic determiners are divided into actualizers, quantifiers, interrogative/exclamative, and predeterminers. The expression “I already read the whole book” includes the predeterminer “all”, which sets the scope of the sentence to the entire “book”. The sentence “I liked the book”, on the other hand, presents the actualizing determiner “el”, while “I want a double portion of potatoes” exhibits the quantifying determiner “double”.

As for the interrogative or exclamatory determiners, they are those that are included in expressions such as “What a problem!” or “How many players?” .

There are several types of linguistic determiners.

Other classifications

In the same way, we cannot ignore the existence of these other commonly used determiners:

  • Demonstrative, which accompany the nouns and whose objective is to make clear the distance or proximity of these to the receptors. Examples are “this”, “that” or “that”.
  • Possessive. These determiners, as their own name indicates, are those that not only go together with the name but also indicate whether it belongs to one or more people. Therefore, among those are “our” or “your”, among others.
  • Numerals, whose main function is to accurately quantify, thus establishing an order of placement. Among these determiners, which can be ordinal or cardinal as well as fractional or multiplicative, are “ten”, “fourth”, “second”…

Determinants in mathematics

In the field of mathematics, determinant is an expression obtained from the application of the elements of a square matrix according to certain rules. It can be said that the determinant is an alternate multilinear form.

In the same way, within the mathematical field, we cannot ignore the existence of what is known as the adjunct of a determinant. We can say that this is the complementary minor that it has and it is necessary, in order to calculate it, to make use of different functions that are based on the use of the symbols + and -.

For a database, a determinant is an attribute on which another attribute is functionally dependent. This second attribute, therefore, is meaningless without the presence of the first.