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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    I am wondering if my sentence is grammatically correct.

    Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret, a red scarf and a dark wool coat, would not have been out of place at a poetry reading.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    It's OK. I'd prefer would not have looked out of place, as the description leads the reader to think only of Peter's appearance.
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  3. #3
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    I am only wondering if I need all four "a" before the nouns, or would it be correct to leave just the first: "sporting a goatee."

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    I'd say all four indefinite articles are required. I think it's because of the multiple modifiers in the list. You wouldn't need the articles if you just named the items of apparel: ... sporting a goatee, beret, scarf and coat....
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  5. #5
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    I prefer it with all four articles but it would be understandable and not grammatically incorrect without the last three.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    Is the goatee new?

  7. #7
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    Tdol,
    The question is how do you know if it is new or old? They all look the same.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    If he always has the goatee, then I would wonder whether it should be included with the flamboyant clothes he's sporting, which could be just for this occasion. If he's got a new beard, then sporting works fine for me.

  9. #9
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    Tdol,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I didn't thought about that use of "sporting", and didn't know it should be used just for that occasion. I believe you have to be a native speaker to know the difference between "sporting" and "wearing". So maybe I should write instead like this:

    Peter, wearing a goatee and sporting a red beret, a red scarf....

  10. #10
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

    I like it better with sporting. I don't hear any implication that the goatee is new.
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