Peter, sporting a goatee, a red beret

Bassim

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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.
 

GoesStation

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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.
 

Bassim

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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."
 

GoesStation

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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....
 

emsr2d2

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I prefer it with all four articles but it would be understandable and not grammatically incorrect without the last three.
 

Tdol

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Is the goatee new?
 

Bassim

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

Tdol

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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.
 

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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....
 

GoesStation

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