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We use the structure both...and when we are giving two facts or alternatives and emphasizing that each of them is true or possible.

In the article I have read the following sentence:

Flavor is the overall impression of a wine or food, the combination of both aromatics, taste, and mouthfeel.

To me, the sentence above is incorrect because after "both" there are three nouns, not two. I think the writer should have omitted "both" and written:

Flavor is the overall impression of a wine or food, the combination of aromatics, taste, and mouthfeel.

Am I right? Or can we actually use "both" with more than two alternatives, say, in colloquial English?

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You are correct: both is used with two things.

Be aware whenever you read articles online. These are usually written by people who pump out articles as fast as they can to make more money. They might write a draft and then hastily cut-and-paste some new information without proofreading the old.

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It could be correct, if you think of it this way:

Flavor is the overall impression of a wine or food, the combination of both aromatics, which are taste and mouthfeel.

But as written it is unclear what was meant, a combination of three or a combination of two aromatics. The next didn't seem to give enough context to decide, and I don't know if my option would be valid or not.

Anyway, I brought up this point as a matter of sentence construction, not whether it was logically correct or not.

  • I don't believe this is correct. Taste could be considered related to aromatics, although the author is probably referring to odor. However, mouthfeel certainly has nothing to do with aromatics. – Tashus Oct 9 '18 at 13:51
  • @Tashus As I mentioned, there wasn't enough context for me to make that distinction without additional knowledge that I don't have. I brought up the point as a matter of sentence construction, not whether it was logically correct or not. – user3169 Oct 9 '18 at 17:02
  • That is reasonable. I just thought I could point out where you might be able to improve your answer instead of creating my own. – Tashus Oct 9 '18 at 17:07

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