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The sentence is:

We could watch an interesting series or an anime.

Does it mean that both the series or the anime we're going to watch are interesting or should I say:

We could watch an interesting series or an interesting anime.

I don't like the repetition of 'interesting'. I think it's unnecessary.

Maybe this version is correct:

We could watch an interesting series or anime.

Does "an+interesting" correlate with the second noun 'anime'?

  • Yes, an interesting series or anime implies that both would be interesting. – Kate Bunting Jan 10 at 11:06
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You have this correct:

We could watch an interesting series or anime.

This is the usual way to refer to a choice from the group of interesting things which are series or animes.


But it will be ambiguous if plural (so the article is absent) and will be understood on the sense of the particular adjectives and nouns:

Look at the big buses and taxis
Look at the noisy buses and taxis

Here the buses are big and the taxis are not; while the buses and taxis are both noisy.


We could watch an interesting series or an anime.

Formally this means the series is interesting and we are saying nothing about the anime. In practice this is ambiguous and depends mostly on the sense of the particular adjective and nouns and any emphasis when spoken.

A native speaker might well respond "Are you saying animes aren't interesting?" To which you might say:

We could watch an interesting series or an interesting anime.

This is a correct sentence which you would use only to specifically emphasise that both are interesting.


If you want to unambiguously apply the adjective to only one, put it on the second noun:

We could watch an anime or interesting series.

This doesn't necessarily mean the speaker considers animes to be uninteresting, just stressing that the series for consideration must be.

... or use a balanced construction which alternates both the adjectives and the nouns:

We could watch a funny cartoon or romantic comedy

Here it's clear the cartoon is specifically funny while the comedy is specifically romantic (though funny too, it's a comedy).

  • I thought it was important to use articles after 'and' and 'or': "an apple and an orange", "a series or an anime". Am I right or may I omit articles especially when I use adjectives and the meaning is ambiguous? – Regina Jan 10 at 12:51
  • "We could watch an anime or interesting series". - Is this sentence the most natural and unambiguously way to say that both the anime and series are interesting? I'm asking because, e.g, I don't know if the series is a comedy, I haven't chosen yet. – Regina Jan 10 at 12:56
  • @Regina no "We could watch an anime or interesting series" means the opposite: "interesting" only applies to "series". I've added some formatting as it seems my answer wasn't clear – jonathanjo Jan 10 at 13:02
  • Articles with "and" and "or": It's perfectly fine to have "an apple and an orange", but they're not required in most situations, especially extremely common ones. For example: "Would you like a knife and fork?" "Would you like a tea or coffee?" are both more common than "a knife and a fork" and "a tea or a coffee", but all are fine. – jonathanjo Jan 10 at 13:07
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The short answer is that it's ambiguous.

Interesting could be interpreted to modify both series and anime, or just series.

To be certain, you need to repeat interesting or rewrite the sentence.

We could watch a series or anime; both are interesting.

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