1. Amr M. Abdu
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    Amr M. Abdu New Member

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    Using articles after 'or' and 'and.'

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Amr M. Abdu, Sep 10, 2012.

    Which is correct:

    "I want a cat or dog" or "I want a cat or a dog"?

    "Have you ever heard a word or phrase that shocked you?" or "Have you ever heard a word or a phrase that shocked you?"?

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    "The American army and French army should be here" or "The American army and the French army should be here"?

    etc.
  2. Amr M. Abdu
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    Amr M. Abdu New Member

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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    It's correct to use articles for both words (the cat and the dog). However, people sometimes neglect the second article when speaking (from my experience at least).
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  4. digitig
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    digitig Senior Member Contributor

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    Both are correct, although Fowler suggests that the repetition (for example, of 'a') has "a certain sledgehammer quality to it" -- let's say it's more emphatic. You need to be careful with some words other than articles though. Fowler points out that "without falsehood or deceit" is not at all the same as "without falsehood or without deceit", because the latter means that only one is not present; you would have to say "without falsehood and without deceit".
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  5. Amr M. Abdu
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    Amr M. Abdu New Member

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    Thanks. I suspected it's good for emphasis but I wasn't sure my intuitive understanding is grammatically correct. The 'falsehood/deceit' example is insightful; I'll definitely be more careful.
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