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  1. #1
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    The article position when several adjectives stay before a noun

    Hello.

    Could you point, which of these phrases are correct:

    1) a small positive number
    2) small a positive number
    3) a too small positive number
    4) too small a positive number

    I'd rather say that 1) and 3) are correct, but I'm not sure since
    I've met 4) several times in various documentations, which are
    likely to be correctly-spelled.

    Thanks in advance,
    Victor

  2. #2
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    Re: The article position when several adjectives stay before a noun

    1) a small positive number
    2) small a positive number
    3) a too small positive number a too small a positive number
    4) too small a positive number

  3. #3
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: The article position when several adjectives stay before a noun

    As noted by David, only 1 and 4 are correct. An adjective preceded by 'too' cannot in turn be preceded by an article.

    Note, however, that the construction of #4 is peculiar to British English. An AmE speaker would probably say 'too small of a positive number'. If preferred, although wordy, a relative clause construction (in either variety of English) can always be substituted: 'a positive number that is too small'.

  4. #4
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    Re: The article position when several adjectives stay before a noun

    Thanks David, philo2009,

    I suspected that I cannot use an article before "too". I'd rather
    use the BrE spelling variant "too small a positive number", than
    the extended "a positive number that is too small".

    --
    Victor

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: The article position when several adjectives stay before a noun

    Definitely the more stylistically elegant choice!


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