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”)

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 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, 2018 at 17:14
  • @Darael - That is an insightful remark, a useful clarification, and a helpful comment. :-)
    – J.R.
    Jul 4, 2018 at 17:21

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