I am plagued by a problem with the bead-roll of nouns that are mentioned as the list in the parentheses. Here are this sentence:

If the hardware has sustained damage or some of its components (i.e. keyboard, paper tray, etc.) are missing...

Should I put the articles like this:

(i.e. a keyboard, a paper tray, etc.)

Or articles need to be omitted in such case?

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    What is a "bead-roll"? It's not a term this US English speaker has ever encountered. It looks like it just means "a list", but it seems to be an extremely archaic word. – stangdon Sep 5 '18 at 11:49
  • Yes I meant a list, is it really the word that should be avoided for usage? – Gamilato Sep 5 '18 at 11:50
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    I don't think anyone has said "bead-roll" in everyday conversation in the last 100 years. Just say "list". – stangdon Sep 5 '18 at 12:01
  • Note that you should be using e.g. here, not i.e. – Jason Bassford Sep 5 '18 at 16:28
  • As far as I know i.e. stands for id est and means that is. And it is the meaning I need in this case. Do you think e.g. sounds better for such lists? Though it means for example. – Gamilato Sep 6 '18 at 7:11

Articles are generally omitted in this case, because you're not referring to a specific computer, but rather in a more generic sense. If you were speaking about a specific computer, then the article to use would be "the" and not "a", as the subject is presumed to be known of all those who read it.

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  • Thank you for your answer! I have a follow-up question - if there is the list with definite items which are included to some assembling big thing. E.g. "Our multimedia system includes: the big display, the small display, the speaker system and the projector". Do we need definite articles in such case? – Gamilato Sep 7 '18 at 10:48
  • Unless you say "The multimedia system includes: ", having definite articles doesn't make much sense. Remember "the" should really only be used if you think the reader knows which particular item you have in mind. Since you're talking about single items of a system, each item would use an indefinite article as well. So "Our multimedia system includes: a big display, a small display, a speaker system, and a projector." – Neil Sep 7 '18 at 11:20
  • Okay, I see. So I should use indefinite articles, or I could omit them? And actually I mean particular definite system, so I would put "the" or system's name before the word "system", then how I need to mention the list items? – Gamilato Sep 7 '18 at 11:24
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    Ok, well is the reader also familiar with each individual item? Because "the speaker system" makes sense again, assuming this particular speaker system is well-reknowned or you're referring to one specific speaker system. My guess is you should stick with indefinite articles. Use definite articles when the reader doesn't have to ask which you're referring to. Also you'd use an indefinite article here (as opposed to not), because it is a list of all items and not an example list. – Neil Sep 7 '18 at 11:29
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    Super, thank you so much for clarifying it to me! Now I won't be troubled with articles in such cases. – Gamilato Sep 7 '18 at 12:12

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