Clark Kent is a journalist and (a) superhero.

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Ground Zero

Senior Member
Korean-Korea
Clark kent is a journalist and ( a ) superhero.

Should I omit 'a' there?

If I put 'a', will it be ungrammatical?

Thank you Barque and Myridon.
 
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  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I would keep "a". If he was known as both (if most people knew Kent was Superman), I might drop the "a".
     

    Ground Zero

    Senior Member
    Korean-Korea
    I would keep "a". If he was known as both (if most people knew Kent was Superman), I might drop the "a".
    Hmm. When I was a child, I watched Superman2(I don't remember it is 2 or 3). I have been thinking that he works as both, and hides his identity as a superhero. Back to the ponint, do you mean that it depends on perception?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Not exactly. I just think dropping the a would be more appropriate when someone is known to play two roles, and more so if the two are related.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    He's always Superman, but he sometimes works as a journalist. I'm not particularly fond of mixing concepts like that though it can sometimes be used for literary effect or to make a point. He is a plumber and a man. :(
    I don't think they're relationship is close enough to leave out the second "a".
     
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    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    That isn't a suitable example. A black and white cat is a cat that has both black and white fur. You necessarily have to drop the a there because both adjectives refer to the same entity; similalrly, "a black and a white cat" necessarily refers to two cats, one black and one white.

    "Journalist" and "superhero" aren't adjectives in your sentence; they're nouns. The structure is different. You can't compare it to "black and white cat".
     

    Ground Zero

    Senior Member
    Korean-Korea
    That isn't a suitable example. A black and white cat is a cat that has both black and white fur. You necessarily have to drop the a there because both adjectives refer to the same entity; similalrly, "a black and a white cat" necessarily refers to two cats, one black and one white.

    "Journalist" and "superhero" aren't adjectives in your sentence; they're nouns. The structure is different. You can't compare it to "black and white cat".
    Thanks for the correction. I really appreciate it. Can I have one more question so that I can be sure about it? I understand that in my example, it is better to put the a. How about this?

    Tom Hanks is an actor and father.

    He is known for both, right?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Yes, you could say that but I'd use a there before father because they don't really go together. All actors aren't fathers and all fathers aren't actors.

    I'd leave out a if the two descriptions were closely related. He's a writer and poet. He's a secretary and assistant.
     

    Ground Zero

    Senior Member
    Korean-Korea
    I have joined this new question with the previous threads, because the questions are closely related, and discussing them together can be helpful. Cagey, moderator

    Signing a contract, Jack Torrance, a normal writer and former teacher agrees to take care of a hotel which has a long, violent past that puts everyone in the hotel in a nervous situation. The Shining (1980) - IMDb

    Hi.

    Let me explain my understanding to you.

    If it is used an object, it would be "Jack Torrance is a normal writer and a former teacher".

    I put the a there because I think that a writer and a teacher is not related.

    But it is used as a subject, and Jack is one person.

    Whether a writer and a teacher is related or not, I think I should leave out the a in that case.

    Am I right?
     
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