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  1. #1
    gramhelp is offline Newbie
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    Modifying more than one noun

    "Look at the green apples and pears."

    In this sentence, does the adjective "green" apply to both nouns? Is there a guiding rule for this? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Modifying more than one noun

    If you wanted to separate them, then saying 'look at the green apples and the pears' would do the job.

  3. #3
    gramhelp is offline Newbie
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    Re: Modifying more than one noun

    But does the adjective "green" modify both of those nouns? What I really want to know is the grammar rule for this issue (i.e. if the adjective in front of two nouns modify the two nouns or just the noun immediately next to the adjective).
    Last edited by gramhelp; 28-Nov-2005 at 20:57.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Modifying more than one noun

    Without adding an article to separate them, then the logical meaning is that the article and adjective apply to both- specific apples and specific pears, both of which are green.

  5. #5
    gramhelp is offline Newbie
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    Re: Modifying more than one noun

    So in the statement 'a green apple and a pear,' the adjective 'green' applies only to the noun 'apple.' And in the statement, ' the green apples and pears,' the adjective 'green' applies to both nouns. Is that correct? Thank you for replies, by the way. I appreciate your feedback.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Modifying more than one noun

    Yes, in 'a green apple and a pear', we don't know the colour of the pear, other than through our external knowledge of pears.

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