I'm a learner of English working on a translation. Which option is the best for completing the sentence below and why?

It’s been known for a long time that human homeostasis is controlled by two main organs –

a) brain and bowel b) the brain and bowel c) the brain and the bowel

  • 1
    I think if I were to use the article for one then I'd use it for both. But you could get away with option a. The sentence does not lose anything in elegance as a result.
    – WS2
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 20:04
  • C by all means. No way I would use A and I would avoid B because of what Misneac said. But note I differ with him/her and apparently also @WS2 on A. The why is because we often use the when talking about generic things.
    – GoDucks
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


Option C) is probably what they're looking for.

B) is incorrect since the sentence refers to "organs" plural. "The brain and bowel" as in B would imply a single entity (and sounds rather like a disgusting English pub). C) "the brain and the bowel" designates each organ individually, and agrees with "organs". A) "brain and bowel" is also correct, but a bit curt.

  • I would upvote this but I deprecate option a. (American English)
    – GoDucks
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 23:09
  • How is A correct? An real world examples?
    – GoDucks
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 23:14
  • Sounds a good idea for a pub name to me. But how would the sign be painted? Try this list
    – WS2
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 23:21

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