Is there a rule for omission of articles in case of enumeration or comparison? For example, in the following sentence there is no article before “saving scheme”:

Some people believe that it is best to save money, for example in a bank or saving scheme. (From “IELTS band 9 essays”)


Nope, no rules.

You can let the indefinite article be “distributed” such that it applies to both objects on either side the conjunction; for example:

...in a bank or saving scheme.
...in a sentence or question. ...on a car or truck.

or you can choose to repeat the article in front of each object:

...in a bank or a saving scheme.
...in a sentence or s question.
...on a car or a truck.

This is usually a stylistic choice, not a grammatical one.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    There's one rule (though still stylistic more than grammatical), which is to be consistent about whether or not an article is distributed at any given level; "a bank, building society, or a saving scheme" feels wrong, but "a bank, building society, or saving scheme" and "a bank, a building society, or a saving scheme" are both fine. – Darael Jul 4 '18 at 17:14
  • @Darael - That is an insightful remark, a useful clarification, and a helpful comment. :-) – J.R. Jul 4 '18 at 17:21

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.