Repetition of Articles

Articles are words that are used to specify nouns.

The three articles ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ are used to indicate if a noun is specific or unspecific.

Out of the three, the only definite article is THE, and it refers to a specific noun.

On the other hand, indefinite articles (a or an) refer to nouns more generally.

Sometimes, an article may be repeated in a sentence. Let’s learn more about this.

It is important to know where to repeat articles and where to use only one.

Let’s look at this concept with the help of some examples.

When two or more nouns or adjectives refer to different persons or things, the article is used before each noun or adjective.

For example, if I say ‘I have a black and a white cow’, I actually have two cows – one black and the other white.

We only repeat the article with each adjective while describing different objects.

On the other hand, when two or more nouns or adjectives refer to the same person or thing, the article is used before the first adjective or noun.

Here, the object is one cow with two adjectives (black, white). So we put ‘a’ before the first adjective ‘black’.

Now, if we are comparing something, and the two nouns refer to different persons or things, the article is used with each noun.

See how ‘CEO’ and ‘Director’ are compared in our example. So we put THE before each noun.

On the other hand, if two nouns are referring to the same person or thing, we don’t repeat the article.

Here the reference is to one person – Gandhi. So we use only one article ‘a’ without repeating it.

We need to be extra careful while following the repetition rule when referring to chapters of a book.

We may either say “The first and the second chapter” OR “The first and second chapters.” With the plural ‘chapters’, we don’t repeat the article ‘the’.

Let’s recap!

Articles may be repeated in a sentence to specify more than one noun.

If, however, more than one adjective is describing the same noun, we don’t repeat the article.

That’s all folks!