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In this sentence do we use the article after the word "tie"?

What colour scarf and (a?) tie has he got on?

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  • Color (title) or colour (question)? Nov 3, 2022 at 21:27
  • Answer: no article. Nov 3, 2022 at 21:27
  • Oh sorry, it must be "Colour".
    – Venro
    Nov 3, 2022 at 21:28
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    If you know there's no article before "scarf", why do you think there might be one before "tie"?
    – gotube
    Nov 3, 2022 at 21:32
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    I think that @gotube is referring to the fact that "scarf" and "tie" are coordinated in your example sentence, so if one required a determiner, then the other normally would, too, and if one didn't, then the other normally wouldn't, either. (Your following comment is irrelevant, because there is no coordination in that sentence. It contains other differences, too.) Nov 4, 2022 at 3:07

1 Answer 1

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You don't need an article in this particular question, because 'what' is a determiner.

Consider this example:

-I have a car.
-Which car?
-That car.

You can see that 'car' has an article in the initial statement, but in the subsequent question and answer, it does not need one because 'which' and 'that' are also determiners.

If you isolated the word 'colour' from the nouns 'scarf' and 'tie' then they would need some kind of determiner or article, for example:

  • What is the colour of the scarf and tie he has on?
  • What colour are his scarf and tie?
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  • I was thinking "What colour" is this stable expression and it can't be separated even by "the". I mean we also use: What colour parrot has Steve got? What colour slipper have you got? and etc.
    – Venro
    Nov 3, 2022 at 22:43
  • @Astralbee If one modifies this pattern a little, in what way could a valid question about the colour be put up? For example: "There is a black suit in his wadrobe". Which of the questions can be regarded as acceptable: 1."What colour is the suit there in his wadrobe?", 2."What colour is the suit in his wadrobe?", 3."What colour suit is there in his wadrobe?". Thank you.
    – Eugene
    Feb 27 at 16:48

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