The job for drawing water (A) from the village well is usually (B) carried out by the women and young girls. (C)

This is an error spotting question asked in my exam. The part A is wrong (need to replace for with of) but isn't part C also wrong? Article the has been used with women but not with young girls. Don't we need to use article with both or with none?


1 Answer 1


No, the noun phrase "women and young girls" can have a single article.

For example "The boys and girls are having lots of fun in our new wooden Teepee!" (source) or "Good Design Is for the Dogs... and Cats" (source)

In these examples, only a single article is required before a noun phrase of the form "X and Y". Similarly in your example, you only need a single "the" before the phrase "women and young girls".

You may need two articles if different articles are required: "The Queen and a servant entered the room." You could also use a second "the" to emphasise: "The Prince and the Pauper..." (two independent things, not one pair, though the distinction is subtle). If the noun phrase is broken by a parenthesis a second "the" might be required for ease of understanding: "The Queen, dressed in fine clothes, and the Prime Minister....

  • 1
    How can I judge if I need to / can use same article for both nouns ? E.g. In this sentence " The manager and director of company has come" I can use single article the as the same person is manager and director of the company. And in this sentence "The manager and the director have come" I have to use different articles as they both are different persons . Here I used has/have to judge if I need to use one article or not but what about given sentence ? How to judge in that sentence ?
    – user212388
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 15:58
  • In your example, you would only need a single "the". You might want a second "the" if you were to treat the director at parenthetical: "The manager (and the director) have come."
    – James K
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 16:12
  • Also, one can leave out the article altogether...
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 16:13
  • 1
    @Lambie you could, but it would subtly change the meaning. ("the women" has a slightly different meaning from "women")
    – James K
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 16:17
  • As a general statement about the village you simply do not need the. It is only needed if you have something like: while the men [of the village] sit around and play cards.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 18:24

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