Dan has already given you a sense of the dramatic change that occurred between the '20s and the '30s.

Can I omit the second highlighted the in this sentence? I know there is a thing called ellipsis, that allows you instead of writing the A and the B just write the A and B.

  • 3
    Yes, you may. To be persnickety, however, nothing occurred between the 20s and the 30s: there was no time between them, the transition was instantaneous. What you probably mean is either the dramatic change that occurred during the 20s or the dramatic difference between the 20s and 30s. Nov 17, 2013 at 22:58
  • 4
    It's the [A and B] or [the A] and [the B]. Either way is fine.
    – user230
    Nov 18, 2013 at 4:12
  • 4
    Also, that "distributive property" works with the indefinite article as well, and different conjunctions, too: an [A or B] can be also be expressed as [an A] or [a B].
    – J.R.
    Nov 18, 2013 at 9:44
  • There are 18 years between the 20's and the 30's from 1922 to 1938. Apr 18, 2017 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


When words are joined by a conjunction, they often share a common article. As long as they're not interrupted by other words, there's no problem.

It's simply not necessary to write between the 20s and the 30s. As long as they agree in number, and are using the same article (i.e. this doesn't work with an a/an combination), it's fine.

In your example, I prefer not omitting the, but that's a style choice, so follow your own preference here.

  • Please, could you give an example where "the" can't be omitted?
    – Nico
    Jun 7, 2014 at 4:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .