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  1. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #1

    "an idiom or an expression" VS. "an idiom or expression"

    Which one is right?
    Is "roll up our sleeves" an idiom or an expression?
    or
    Is "roll up our sleeves" an idiom or expression?
    I do mean, do we need "double indefinite article "an" Make it as a rule!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "an idiom or an expression" VS. "an idiom or expression"

    My feeling is that if you omit the "an" you're saying "Could it fall into either of these categories?" and if you include the "an" you mean "which of these two?"

    A: You should eat healthy foods. A lot of fruits and vegetables.
    B: I like cantaloupe. Is a cantaloupe a fruit or vegetable? (Does it fall into either category?)
    A: Yes, that's a good, healthy choice.

    A: You should eat healthy foods. A lot of fruits and vegetables.
    B: I do. I eat a lot of cantaloupe
    A: I don't know what that is. Is a cantaloupe a fruit or a vegetable? (Which category?)

    That's just my feeling. Others may say that it's interchangeable.
    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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    #3

    Re: "an idiom or an expression" VS. "an idiom or expression"

    Barb_D makes a very good point. However, it takes a good ear for language to hear the distinction. I suspect to many people there would be very little difference between the two sentences.

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