# Thread: Parallelism with articles

1. ## Parallelism with articles

I have been confused with the use of articles in parallelism.
Please help me clarify the differences in the following A and also in B.
A)
1. A red, white, blue hat
2. A red, a white, and a blue hat
3. Red, white, blue hats(In this case, can it be two meanings--a hat of red/white/blue colors all combined; or a red hat/a white hat/a blue hat?)
4. The red, white, and blue hat
5. The red, the white, and the blue hat(Is is possible to paralle like this?)
B)
1. The operation and the behavior of this machine(In this case, can "this machine" possibly modify both "the operation" and "the behavior," or always only "the behavior"?)
2. The operation and behavior of this machine

2. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

Hello

A)
1. A red, white, and blue hat. <one hat with all three colors, or three hats of different color>
2. A red, a white, and a blue hat. <three hats; three different colors>
3. Red, white, and blue hats. <many hats; two meanings>
4. The red, white, and blue hat. <same as 1), but specific; i.e., 'the'>
5. The red, the white, and the blue hat. <three hats; one red, one white, and one blue>

B)
1. The operation and the behavior of this machine. <both>
2. The operation and behavior of this machine. (OK)

Hope that helps.

3. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

Dear Casiopia,

Thank you very much for clarifying the meaning for each.
You have helped me a lot!

However, in the example B)1, I would like to make sure if you mean "this machine" modifies:
1. "the behavior" only or
2. both "the operation" and "the behavior"

If the above 1 and 2 are both correct and possible to think about, the only way I can get the real meaning of B)1 is from the context of the sentence, right?

In general, is it wrong to say "the behavior and the operation of this machine" if the above 2 applies? If the above 2 applies, should the sentence be "the behavior and operation of this machine" instead? I am confused if only one of these is correct or both are correct if "this machine" modifies both "the operation" and "the behavior.

Help, please!

4. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

1a) The operation and the behavior of this machine... <separate>
1b) The operation and behavior of this machine... <together>

It's not about modification, gorikaz. In 1a) "operation" and "behavior" are separate - they are treated as two distinct things. Take away the 2nd "the", 1b), and the two nouns function together as one.

5. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

Dear Casiopia,

Thank you for your reply.

So, do you mean
in 1a), this machine's operation and this machine's behavior(separate but still talking about this machine's ) and
in 1b) this machine's operation and behavior(function as one and talking about this machine's)

I want to make sure that in 1a), if it can be thought like this, too, depending on the context of the text (if, for example, in a paragraph):
something's operation, and this machine's behavior

I appreciate your patience and kind reply.

6. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

Hello, gorikaz.

1a) Yes, they are treated separately and, yes, both refer to the same machine.
1b) Yes, they are treated together and, yes, the refer to the same machine.

Variation
1a) Yes, it's possible, i.e., something's operation, and this machine's behavior, but it depends on intonation. There are two possible readings here:

#1 The operation and the behavior of the machine. <2 articles>
Separate: The operation and the behavior of the machine.
Together: The operation and the behavior of the machine.

Let's check out #2,

#1 The operation and behavior of the machine. <1 article>
Separate: The operation and behavior of the machine.
Together: The operation and behavior of the machine.

The first one is questionable, . The reason being, speakers/writers delete the 2nd "the" because it's redundant within the phrase, "The operation and the behavior." If the nouns in that phrase are treated together, as a set, then we would expect the speaker/writer to omit the second article - for the sake of efficiency; but, if those nouns are treated separately, we wouldn't expect the speaker/writer to delete or omit the 2nd "the". That 2nd "the" is necessary.

Hope that helps.

7. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

Dear Casiopia,

Thank you very much for your explanation. It is very informative to me.

8. ## Re: Parallelism with articles

You're most welcome, gorikaz.

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