There appeared to be a natural give and take between author and editor

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Senior Member
Hi all,

Here are two sentences from a recent article in the New York Times:

1)There appeared to be a natural give and take between author and editor. “When she disagreed with a suggestion, we talked it out, sometimes for hours,” Ms. Hohoff wrote.

2)After “Mockingbird,” author and editor remained close.

In both sentences "author and editor" are used. "Author" refers to Harper Lee, while "editor" refers to Tay Hohoff, the editor who played a big role in shaping the novel To Kill a Mockingbird

my questions are: Why zero articles before both "author" and "editor"? Why the definite article "the" is dropped ? Is it not required when the references are specific, as they are in these cases?

And a related question: when I'm talking about relationship between teachers and students in general, which of the following expressions are acceptable, why?

1) relationship between teachers and students
2) relationship between the teachers and the students
3) relationship between teacher and student
4) relationship between a teacher and a student
  • perpend

    American English
    This is just my observation, but no, you don't always need the definite article.

    Sometimes it has to do with the relationship.

    Somewhat familiar ones:
    author and editor
    mother and daughter
    teacher and student

    Now, say the context involved a dinosaur and a human, you might well want to include the definition article: between the dinosaur and the human
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