When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject (as in the following example)?

Original sentence:

The implementation of the algorithms on the CPU and the GPU is presented.

Sentence after removal:

The implementation of the algorithms on the CPU and  GPU is presented.

Note that the meaning intended to express in both sentences is that the algorithms are implemented both on the GPU and on the CPU.


  • 2
    This is an example of a general syntactic phenomenon known as Conjunction Reduction that allows repeated material to be deleted from a second conjunct. Articles may be repeated, for emphasis, or they may be deleted; speaker's choice. Aug 13, 2014 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


Instead of removing the before GPU in the sentence

The implementation of the algorithms on the CPU and the GPU is presented.

why not use the much clearer wording from your explanatory sentence below the revised wording:

The algorithms are implemented both on the GPU and on the CPU.

I find the wording "The implementation of X is presented" almost completely opaque, whereas I have no trouble at all imagining that I understand what "The algorithms are implemented" means.

As a matter of comprehensibility to readers or hearers—not as a matter of grammatical defensibility—I recommend that you take into account the complexity and abstractness of your sentence before you start "simplifying" it by removing elements that may help make parallel structures or other aspects of the sentence's internal logic easier to recognize.


Yes, "on the CPU and GPU" is fine. As John says in a comment, it's an instance of conjunction reduction. I disagree with the characterization that it's a matter of omitting the second "the", however, or that there is a process of conjunction reduction, even.

It is a general fact about conjunction that you can conjoin several constituents of the same category to create a constituent of that same category. That is what is going on here. "CPU" and "GPU" are nouns, consequently "CPU and GPU" is a noun. You can make a noun phrase by adding "the" to a noun, so "the CPU and GPU" is a good noun phrase. Then, that serves as the object of the preposition "on".

So the structure is [ on [ the [ CPU and GPU ] ] ], rather than what you get by omitting the second article from [ on [ [ the CPU ] and [ (the) GPU ] ] ].

Although in The Syntactic Phenomena of English, McCawley continues the tradition of treating conjunction reduction as a transformational process (which I do not accept), I am in agreement with him about the structure of the reduced form. The phrase in question does not have a conjunction of two noun phrases, but rather a conjunction of two nouns. (See McCawley's book for supporting evidence.)

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