Should one use "one" or "a" in the following sentence?

Each path is sampled and evaluated in aone) separate thread executed on the GPU.

Note that each path corresponds to one thread. So there are many threads with each executing one unique path.


  • Either is fine. If you want to emphasize more, one is better. – Neeku Aug 25 '14 at 9:11
  • A = "at least one", one = "exactly one". – RegDwigнt Aug 25 '14 at 9:59
  • @RegDwigнt : Thanks. So do you think "one separate" is akin to a tautology ? Just as Purple Helen suggested. – user1639413 Aug 25 '14 at 11:51

I would have thought that using the word 'one' in conjunction with 'separate' is akin to a tautology, so 'a separate' is sufficient.


I suggest using "a" in this case. "One" might almost give the impression that all of the paths are sampled and evaluated together, by the same thread, one that is separate from the main thread. If I were reading this in documentation, I'd question which is the case.

If you really want to be clear, you could phrase it as, "[...] evaluated in its own, separate thread [...]".

Source: native speaker

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