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I have written down a set of similar sentences below.

(1) There are no lights in the storage room and in the living room.

(2) There are no lights in the storage room and the living room.

(3) There are no lights in the storage and living rooms.

(4) There are no lights in the storage room or in the living room.

(5) There are no lights in the storage room or the living room.

(6) There are no lights in the storage room or living room.

I have come up with different possible ways to express the same thing.

Please note that I am using "in/the" twice in both (1)&(4), only "the" twice in both (2)&(5), and "the" once in both (3)&(6). In addition, I am using "and" in the first three and "or" in the next three.

All my friends and I are non-native English speakers. My sentences sound OK to all of us.

Which ones are idiomatic to native speakers?

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These are correct, and all are idiomatic:

(4) There are no lights in the storage room or in the living room.

(5) There are no lights in the storage room or the living room.

(6) There are no lights in the storage room or living room.

An alternative to (3) would be:

There are no lights in the storage or living rooms.

I would not use "and", because the lights are in one of the two rooms but presumably none are strung from one room to the next.

A more formal sentence would be:

There are lights in neither the storage room nor the living room.

However, only those native speakers with the most formal speech patterns would use this or similar sentences ("There are lights in neither the storage nor living rooms" etc.).

  • @ansonguy You're welcome. If you are satisfied with the answer, please click the check to accept it. – Tashus Dec 21 '18 at 21:03

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