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    #1

    Listing and articles

    Hello!
    I have a question on the use of aricles in structures like:

    "The reactor vessel, (the) PCU vessel and (the) cross-vessel should be inspected."

    Should I use articles in front of each 'vessel' in this kind of structures or a single article in front of the list is sufficient? What if I use an indefinite article in this kind of phrase: Should there be 3 of them or one at the beginning is enough? How can it be explained in terms of grammar?

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    #2

    Re: Listing and articles

    Thank you.
    Anyway, I still do not understand why it makes no sense. What if I put a single article at the beginning? How can the meaning be lost in that case? If the meaning is lost because of the abbreviation (PCU=Power Conversion Unit), it seem to be a different case, which has nothing to do with the use of articles.
    Or maybe in terms of grammar I should determine each noun on the list in this kind of phrase?

    I understand the use of both the definite and indefinite articles and what effect it has on the meaning of the sentence. My question is about the need to determine each noun on the list of the kind rather than use a single article at the beginning of the list to determine all the items at once.
    So, can I use a single article at the beginning to determine all the items on the list of the kind?

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    #3

    Re: Listing and articles

    It may be a British/American difference, but I think that a single article at the start is OK.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Listing and articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack8rkin View Post
    Hello!
    I have a question on the use of aricles in structures like:

    "The reactor vessel, (the) PCU vessel and (the) cross-vessel should be inspected."

    Should I use articles in front of each 'vessel' in this kind of structures or a single article in front of the list is sufficient? What if I use an indefinite article in this kind of phrase: Should there be 3 of them or one at the beginning is enough? How can it be explained in terms of grammar?
    I think one definite article at the beginning would suffice too. I tried out similar examples and they seem to be fine:

    The dog, cat and mouse got on very well together.
    My hat, scarf and gloves are in the car.
    The table, chairs and carpets will need to be moved.

    Simple examples, but I can see no reason for an article in front of every noun in any of them.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Listing and articles

    I completely agree that one "the" is sufficient.

    But then I tried it with "a."

    You need a saw, table, box, and willing assistant.
    You need a bowl, measuring cup, and mixing spoon.

    Wouldn't both of those read better with a repeated "a"?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: Listing and articles

    What I found in the certain English Grammar is the case with pairs of nouns+an indefinite article:

    a cup and saucer, a hat and coat, a knife and fork;
    It s cold outside. Take a hat and coat with you.

    It also says that if words are not considered to be pairs, articles are required in both the cases. There is nothing about a case with three nouns in a row, but I guess the above rule is applicable.
    Last edited by Jack8rkin; 05-Apr-2010 at 06:16.

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