I suggest you choose a noisy restaurant or a fast food restaurant to study rather than a quiet library.

Q1. I want to express "a noisy restaurant or a noisy fast food restaurant." But if I use "noisy" twice, it'd be too redundant. So I just placed "noisy" only before restaurant. In this case can "noisy" modify a fast food restaurant, too?

Q2. Overall, does the sentence sound natural? Let me know if you have better alternatives, please.

  • 1
    The easiest way to imply that noisy modifies both "restaurant" and "fast food restaurant" is to delete the article (a) before the latter. But it's always going to be a bit odd to simultaneously reference an "unqualified" restaurant AND a fast food one in the same compound noun phrase, even though the different meanings are obvious. Feb 14, 2016 at 14:04
  • If, in what you are trying to say, noisy applies to both any restaurant and to fast food restaurants then it is sufficient to say noisy restaurant. A noisy fast food restaurant is necessarily a noisy restaurant.
    – Drew
    Feb 15, 2016 at 2:43

2 Answers 2


When you use two phrases beside one another like this, they work in parallel, so you need to clarify the cut off point.

In your example, "a noisy restaurant or a fast food place", repeating "a" resets the cutoff to that point so the adjective does not carry over.

If you remove the repeated "a", i.e. "A noisy restaurant or fast food place", the parallel can be read as following the adjective. It is mildly ambiguous, but most readers would, I suggest, see it the way you want them to.

Think about it this way: if you want to say "many cats and many dogs", it is sufficient to say "many cats and dogs". The "many" carries over to the second part. To differentiate, you could say "many cats and a dog", and now of course the "many" does not carry over, it only refers to the cats.


I would construct it thusly:

"I suggest you choose a noisy restaurant—fast food or otherwise—to study rather than a quiet library."

But no, to answer your questions, noisy as you phrased it cannot modify "fast food restaurant. In addition, no, the sentence does not sound natural.

Here are other alternatives:

"I suggest you choose a noisy restaurant, either fast food or another kind, to study rather than a quiet library."

"I suggest you choose a noisy restaurant—whether fast food or not—to study rather than a quiet library."

In all those constructions, every restaurant you mention is described as a noisy one.

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