Is this sentence ok or should I take out the a's?

"A true gentleman is a 25% noble, a 25% gentle, a 25% respectful and a 25%... dumb. "

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  • 2
    Take out the articles. You're using 25% to quantify "respectful" etc. but you wouldn't say "A true gentleman is a respectful", so you wouldn't say "A true gentleman is 25% respectful" either. – Jon Hanna Jan 16 '15 at 15:48
  • The underlying rule is that only nominals take determiners. – StoneyB Jan 16 '15 at 17:02
  • you could say, however, "A true gentleman is a quarter noble, ..." – andi Jan 16 '15 at 21:01
  • @Jon Hanna: did you mean to put another 'a' in your last sentence? I can't make sense of it as written. But apparently the OP did! – Brian Hitchcock Jan 17 '15 at 9:40
  • @BrianHitchcock I did, but I accidentally wrote it correctly! – Jon Hanna Jan 17 '15 at 15:39

"A true gentleman is 25% noble, 25% gentle, 25% respectful and 25%... dumb."

No article. Simple as that.


The 'a's, or indefinite articles, are totally unnecessary:

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

  • That'a a great example. Makes perfect sense. Thanks a lot. – Emiliano Jan 16 '15 at 16:48
  • they are not merely "unnecessary", they are wrong. – andi Jan 16 '15 at 21:00

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