a apple and <a?> pear [one article for two nouns?]

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stcopy

Senior Member
Chinese
I have a banana and a pear. Can we omit the second article 'a'? i.e I have a banana and pear
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    People might omit one article as you have in hasty speech, stcopy. However, it's normal to use an article for each noun: I have a banana and a pear.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    "I have a banana and pear" sounds wrong to me. However, you will find certain English phrases where the second article is omitted because the two objects are to be seen as parts of a pair: "there was a hammer and sickle on the flag of the USSR" or "I have a mortar and pestle." Your banana and pear, though, are not related to each other in the way that a mortar is related to a pestle.
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi,
    Even so, we say, 'I have a mother and a father' and they are related. Or you would say 'a father and mother'?
    see you
     

    Texano

    Member
    English - Texas and Southern Dialect
    "I have a banana and pear" sounds wrong to me. However, you will find certain English phrases where the second article is omitted because the two objects are to be seen as parts of a pair: "there was a hammer and sickle on the flag of the USSR" or "I have a mortar and pestle." Your banana and pear, though, are not related to each other in the way that a mortar is related to a pestle.
    I agree 100% here. When the objects belong naturally together (a mother and father, a fork and spoon), sometimes the second article is omitted. Technically we should always use the second article, but constant usage has allowed us to be a little lazy.
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Thank you, I didn't know that. In my language either we use 'a' for both nouns or leave them aside. But this is because we have gender, like: 'o mamă' (mother) and 'un tată'(father).
    see you
     
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