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I wonder if the two can be used as a synonym for both when talking about two separate things. Let me follow my question with an example sentence:

  1. Both texts talk about negative consequences of smoking

  2. The two texts talk about negative consequences of smoking

Is the second sentence correct?

  • Oh, look; I found a third text that talks about negative consequences of smoking.  So, what do you say now?  “The three texts talk about negative consequences of smoking.”  So why wouldn’t “the two” be correct? – Scott Aug 23 '16 at 4:40
  • I'm sorry I don't get what you're trying to say here Scott – IGO Aug 23 '16 at 11:05
  • I'm wondering why you question the correctness of "The two ..." when "The three …", "The four …", etc., are obviously correct. – Scott Aug 23 '16 at 16:12
  • @Scott it's not a question of is it correct. It's a question of if 'both' is the same as 'the two' – Mitch Sep 7 '16 at 20:47
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"The two" is literally listed as a synonym for both in the thesaurus, and it also makes perfect sense. So, yes, you can use it.

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