I'm conducting a survey related to health care. You can describe yourself using 3 categories: a client, a doctor or "a client and (a) doctor." I'm wondering if I should repeat the second "a" before the noun "doctor" or omit it because I've already used it before the noun "client."

1 Answer 1


When you have a list of single nouns, you can use a only for the first noun and omit it for all subsequent nouns.

There are an apple, pear, plum and peach on the table.

So, you can say a client and doctor. But you can still use a client and a doctor - it may even sound better if it's not in a sentence. On the other hand, in surveys, it may be good if all is made as short as possible.

Or you can say a patient and doctor, if you think this is appropriate to say in your survey.

  • 2
    We usually call the clients of doctors "patients" where I come from (UK). May 7, 2019 at 8:36
  • 1
    I always believed that the term patient should be reserved for an actual current relationship between a doctor and the treated person. I find it less appropriate to say, for example, "A lot of patients come in this hospital."
    – Jan
    May 7, 2019 at 9:07

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