her ability/abilities to see and hear


Senior Member
Chinese - China
Before her illness, Helen Keller was a bright and happy girl. After she lost her ability to see and hear, she became difficult and wild.

(from an English textbook for junior high school students in China, co-published by DC Canada Education Publishing and Hebei Education Press)

I think seeing and hearing are two abilities. So I wonder if ‘her ability’ in the second sentence should be ‘her abilities’.

Thanks a lot in advance.
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Grammatically, "abilities" could fit but it's "ability" that sounds natural in that sentence. Think of it as: After she lost her ability to see and [her ability to] hear... with the second "her ability to" being elided.
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