A casual and professional style/ The blue and the red cup

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Usiek

Member
Polish
Hey all,

"Let's preserve a healthy balance between a casual and professional style."

Is this sentence correct or should it be rephrased?

a casual and professional styles
a casual and a professional style
a casual style and a professional style
casual and professional styles (though I think this sentence indicates more than two).

"The blue and the red cup/s is/are over there"

What about this one? : )

Is "the blue and the red cup are over there" grammatical? Or should it be "the blue and the red cups are over there"? (again, I think it might indicate there are several blue and red cups).

Does anything change when we substitute "the" with "a" or "one"?

"There's one wounded and one healthy soldier in the barracks".

Thanks!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's hard to give definite rules. Casual and professional styles can be two (one of each) or more. A casual and a professional style would be two (short for a casual style and a professional style, which is why we keep singular 'style'), but that's because we know casual and professional are opposed in meaning. If one style is casual yet graceful, it can be a casual and graceful style or (emphasizing that they're different aspects) a casual and a graceful style.

    One wounded and one healthy soldier are definitely two soldiers: 'one' counts, 'a' doesn't.

    'The blue and the red cup' is two cups, 'the blue and red cup' is one cup.

    With plurals you're even more at the mercy of meaning. 'Black and white people' has a clear meaning, but 'black and white cats' is much more ambiguous.
     
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