I was commenting on a question on Stackoverflow and found myself writing:
You are comparing the first item from both sets
Meaning in this case that the OP was taking an item from one collection, and an item from a second collection, and comparing them, with emphasis on the fact that the comparison was of the very first item picked from each collection.
My phrasing made sense in my head because in each set, you take the first item. But on further thought, it seemed odd because you wouldn't say
You are comparing the item.
Yet when I look at the phrase
You are comparing the first items from both sets
it seems unnatural to me.
Is my original phrase correct, or should I have written "items?"
I've done some googling and couldn't find a clear example that differentiates between the two forms.