Jon had used the scientific approach of his brother and artistic approach of his sister.

Would definite article "the" be implicit before "artistic" due to conjunction reduction? Since the phrase before "and" is long, the lack of "the" before artistic may initially appear to have the potential to sound incorrect.

  • 3
    The definite article can be and often is elided in this way. But speaking personally I would include it a second time. The sentence just sounds more complete.
    – WS2
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:39
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    I think it sounds more awkward to leave it out when the phrases are several words long like this.
    – Barmar
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:55
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    @Barmar: It's a fine point where you draw the line. I don't mind OP's version particularly, but I couldn't really go for it in "Jon used the scientific approach of his brother Michael famed for his contributions to gamma-ray astronomy, and artistic approach of his sister". Which sister would probably have to be expanded upon too anyway, but that's irrelevant. The point is that at some point the distance between the actual "the" and the [deleted/elided] one just becomes too great. Jan 16, 2015 at 19:44
  • 1
    Please pass me the box I put on the table and can you put on the worktop. Jan 16, 2015 at 21:52
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    @Barmar. I couldn't manage three; I've just been to a family gathering. Jan 16, 2015 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


Yes. Or, putting it another way, the direct object of this sentence is a noun phrase with article "the" in construction with a compound noun which is the coordinate conjunction of the two nouns "scientific approach of his brother" and "artistic approach of his sister". (Generally, a conjunction of two phrases has the same category as each of the conjoined phrases. Here, some grammarians might use the category N-bar where I have used just N.)

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