4
  • She is a singer.
  • She is an actress.

If I transform this sentence into "both--and" structure, which one is better to use, the sentence #1 or #2?

  1. She is both a singer and actress.

  2. She is both a singer and an actress.

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  • 3
    The second is better.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 6:55
  • 1
    There is no difference in meaning between the two, and neither is more idiomatic than the other. Any preference for one or the other is merely a matter of personal taste. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 6:58
  • 683 views for this? Unbelievable. Remove both and the second article. Sounds like song-and-dance or horse-and-pony. But: She is a singer and an actress. Now, add the both back in. I would correct the first one in any essay.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 23:09

2 Answers 2

1

She is both a singer and actress.

She is both a singer and an actress.

Remove both:

She is a singer and actress. [buzzer]

She is a singer and an actress. [good style]

If things are not defined, leave them that way.

He is a mechanic and an engineer.

The meaning might not change, but it sure sounds bad not to keep two articles.

The Chicago Manual of Style says this:

Usage and Grammar Q. Do you need to use two indefinite articles with coordinate nouns when one noun begins with a vowel sound and the other begins with a consonant sound? For example, “walking the halls of an elementary or [a] secondary school.” Is the a before secondary required? Would the same be true for coordinate adjectives? For example, “including a relatable and [an] encouraging teacher”? Is the an required?

A. The second article is not required. Readers will mentally supply it.

I agree when the nouns are the same thing or closely related, as in this case: schools

But not when they are completely different: a singer and an actress

Another example:

  • A teacher and a student must act as chaperons at the dance. [good style]
  • A teacher and student must act as chaperons at the dance. [buzzer]
  • She is both a singer and songwriter. [Ok, closely related]

two nouns

two nouns

0

Answers are listed in the comments.

"The second is better." – Lawrence

Agreed. The second one looks more complete and grammatical.

"There is no difference in meaning between the two, and neither is more idiomatic than the other. Any preference for one or the other is merely a matter of personal taste." – P. E. Dant

The choice depends on personal preference and the style of speaking/writing.

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