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I keep running into this debate with my thesis advisor. Are both of these forms correct?

It can be seen that both the users are able to...

or

It can be seen that the both users are able to...

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5 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

the both users is incorrect. "Both" has already qualified "users", so you know who is being referred to. Adding the on to that is similar to saying the the users. People sometimes do this anyways, such as in the phrase the both of them, but it's informal.

On the other hand, both the users is short for both of the users. The of is just elided. I would think this is common enough to be acceptable. But if you're in doubt, either use both of the users or both users as MikeVaughan suggests.

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I think that the article the is extraneous.

It can be seen that both users are able to...

is just fine.

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Thanks! I hadn't thought of this form. –  Pablo May 9 '11 at 20:35
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The first example is grammatically correct, the second example is not.

The first sentence in the "Article" wikipedia page says it better than I can: "An article (abbreviated art) is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun."

Articles Wiki

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I don't disagree, but can you explain why "the" is combined with "both"? As a random example, in "the brown cow" the modifies cow, not brown, even though brown is the next word. –  Matthew Read May 9 '11 at 20:17
    
Despite my best efforts, I cannot. Let me retract that last sentence until it can be better qualified. Thanks. –  D e v v i n May 10 '11 at 12:23
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You could also say "It can be seen that the two users are able to..." or "It can be seen that each user is able to..."

OT: The real reason that I answer is to object to the weasel-phrase "It can be seen that..."

Can you find a less officious, less self-protective intro? Like "Notice that each user..." or "We see that both users are able..."

Simpler and plainer is better.

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Third-person passive voice is often the norm in the type of writing it sounds like the OP is doing. I don't much like it either, but it's also not part of the question. –  Matthew Read May 9 '11 at 20:39
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both- is a word that we use to refire to things.

Eg. Both of them are friends.

Eg. Both of car are the same.

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