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    #1

    This and the following paragraphs

    Here is another very particular question.

    “This and the immediately following paragraphs are the most striking in the entire book.”

    I am having a little problem with this sentence, because, due to the plural ‘s’ on ‘paragraph’, it gives the impression that it is referring to [this one paragraph + next few paragraphs], where it is actually intended to mean [this one paragraph + next one paragraph].

    “This and the immediately following paragraph are the most striking in the entire book.”
    Is this acceptable then? (I’m guessing no)

    Of course, this problem could be solved by saying “This paragraph and the immediately following paragraph are the most striking in the entire book”, but I am more interested in clarifying the grammatical rules than finding better expressions.

  1. Jay Louise's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: This and the following paragraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju1ian View Post
    Here is another very particular question.

    “This and the immediately following paragraphs are the most striking in the entire book.”

    I am having a little problem with this sentence, because, due to the plural ‘s’ on ‘paragraph’, it gives the impression that it is referring to [this one paragraph + next few paragraphs], where it is actually intended to mean [this one paragraph + next one paragraph].

    “This and the immediately following paragraph are the most striking in the entire book.”
    Is this acceptable then? (I’m guessing no)

    Of course, this problem could be solved by saying “This paragraph and the immediately following paragraph are the most striking in the entire book”, but I am more interested in clarifying the grammatical rules than finding better expressions.
    **I am not a teacher**

    “This and the immediately following paragraphs are the most striking in the entire book.”

    This sentence is fine and it would mean [this one paragraph + next few paragraphs].


    “This and the immediately following paragraph are the most striking in the entire book.”

    I don't see any problem with this sentence and would take it to mean this paragraph and the one immediately following it.

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    #3

    Re: This and the following paragraphs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Louise View Post
    “This and the immediately following paragraphs are the most striking in the entire book.”

    This sentence is fine and it would mean [this one paragraph + next few paragraphs].


    “This and the immediately following paragraph are the most striking in the entire book.”

    I don't see any problem with this sentence and would take it to mean this paragraph and the one immediately following it.
    Interesting... How about these?

    A1. Chapters 1 and 2 are the most important.
    A2. Chapter 1 and 2 are the most important.

    B1. The first and the second chapters are the most important.
    B2. The first and the second chapter are the most important.
    B3. The first and second chapters are the most important.
    B4. The first and second chapter are the most important.

    (I added B3 and B4 for a slightly different kind of quesion: can you or should you omit the second 'the'?)

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    #4

    Re: This and the following paragraphs

    BUMP

  2. Jay Louise's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: This and the following paragraphs

    I'm not a teacher so I can't do this well off the top of my head and I'm moving soon so all my books are packed. I will try to explain the differences without confusing you.

    This and the immediately following paragraphs are...
    this paragraph and the ones that follow it are...
    this paragraph and those paragraphs are
    these few paragraphs are


    This and the immediately following paragraph are...
    this paragraph and the one that follows it are...
    this paragraph and that paragraph are
    these two paragraphs are


    A1. Chapters 1 and 2 are the most important.
    A2. Chapter 1 and chapter 2 are the most important.
    These two chapters are...
    The first two chapters are...
    I would use A1 since you are listing a number of chapters. You wouldn't say "Chapter 1, 2, 5 and 8 were the most confusing".

    Chapter 1 and chapter 2 and chapter 8 are the most interesting.
    Chapters 1 and 2 and 8...
    Chapters 1, 2 and 8...

    Can you see why you use plural "chapters" in A1 but singular "chapter" in A2?

    B1. The first and the second chapters are the most important.
    These chapters are...
    B2. The first chapter and the second chapter are the most important.
    This chapter and that chapter are...

    can you or should you omit the second 'the'?
    Yes you can and it does make the sentence flow better.

    B3. The first and second chapters are the most important.
    B4. The first chapter and second chapter are the most important.

    I hope this helps you. All I can offer are examples. If you need the specific rule for this situation, someone else will need to help you.

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