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  1. #1

    Parallelism

    For lists preceded by a colon, how do I write the following:

    We need to bring the following items to complete the yardwork: shears, lawnmower, hedge trimmer, and both electric saws.

    -or-

    We need to bring the following items to complete the yardwork: the shears, the lawnmower, the hedge trimmer, and both of the electric saws.

    It seems that adding "the" to everything makes it too wordy.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for the help.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #2

    Smile Re: Parallelism

    Quote Originally Posted by paul4567 View Post
    For lists preceded by a colon, how do I write the following:

    We need to bring the following items to complete the yardwork: shears, lawnmower, hedge trimmer, and both electric saws.

    -or-

    We need to bring the following items to complete the yardwork: the shears, the lawnmower, the hedge trimmer, and both of the electric saws.

    It seems that adding "the" to everything makes it too wordy.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for the help.
    I would add an article, but not "the:definite article". I would use "a: indefinite article".

    We need to bring the following items to complete the yardwork: shears, a lawnmower, a hedge trimmer, and two electric saws.

    Or if it is such that both the speaker and the listener, or listeners, know which items the speaker is specifically referring to, I would say it like this:

    We need to bring the shears, the lawnmower, the hedge trimmer, and both electric saws to do this job.

    And, no, using articles here, determiners, is not too wordy. I woud say they're necessary.

    This is a good example of definite article use as opposed to indefinite article use. I have a business English student who speaks Russian that would find such a comparison of definite article use and indefinite article use to be helpful.

    Thank you for posting your question.

    Last edited by PROESL; 21-Jul-2009 at 20:45. Reason: I typed "no" instead of "know" in error.

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