0

which is correct as a title: "The river system and the water supply" or "the river system and water supply"? And would you remove all determiners and leave it like this: "River system and water supply"?

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Article after 'and' and 'or' – FumbleFingers May 15 '17 at 17:16
  • @FumbleFingers I think this is slightly different. The OP seems to be specifically asking about in a title... which has different rules depending on how you write titles... many headlines, for example, omit articles. – Catija May 15 '17 at 22:18
  • Do you have some context perhaps? For example, what is the body of work about? Is it a scientific/technical paper? Is it a work of fiction? Is it a headline in a newspaper? To me, "The River System and The Water Supply" sounds the best, but it sounds a little lacking, like "Whose river system?" and "Whose water supply?" – Teacher KSHuang May 16 '17 at 9:11
  • Let's say it is a scientific paper or talk, wouldn't "River system and water supply" be appropriate as a title as the area is already known to the auditor or reader at this point of the study? – zenith3 May 16 '17 at 16:50
-1

In English, adjectives can be "reused" in a pattern like A (B1 C1) and (B2 C2). Or they can be repeated for emphasis or clarity. This works for determiners too.

I put on the red shirt and hat [the red shirt and the red hat].

Determiners are omitted if the noun is plural. The red shirt and the red hat all together is a plural noun.

However, in this situation:

The red shirt and the red hat.

you have a bigger NP formed from two conjuncted smaller NPs.

The smaller NPs need their determiner, because they are singular nouns, but the bigger NP does not. So you'd never do "The the red shirt and hat."

But you can't omit the first individual the, even if you can omit the determiner after the conjunction as sort of a "shortcut."

If each of the NPs were plural then you may be in a situation where no determiner is needed.

Coins and cards were all over the place, I made sure to pick them up.

  • I don't see the relevance of singular/plural to OP's question. Did you really mean to write The the red shirt and hat? What is that supposed to illustrate? – FumbleFingers May 15 '17 at 17:18
  • There's a couple of situations where determiners can be omitted and the noun being plural is one of them. The other situations are if the noun is a type or concept, or the noun is being used abstractly, and some fixed expressions. – LawrenceC May 15 '17 at 17:20
  • But OP isn't asking about such contexts. He's asking whether he can reasonably delete an article that might otherwise have been "expected" in constructions of the general form the X and [the] Y. – FumbleFingers May 15 '17 at 17:26
  • I felt I had to include that to explain why the second article can be deleted but not the first. – LawrenceC May 15 '17 at 19:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.