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Lets say I want to talk about the 10 ingredients most frequently found in each continent, while being as concise as possible. I have the choice to say 10 most abundant ingredients in african and european continents, but then it becomes unclear whether the 10 are the sum of both, or 10 in each, and how they are split. How would you say this?

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  • There are many different ways of saying this e.g. The 10 most abundant ingredients in each of Europe and Africa, The most abundant 10 ingredients in both the European and African continents, The 10 most abundant ingredients in Europe and in Africa etc.
    – WS2
    Mar 28, 2018 at 9:31

3 Answers 3

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You only need to repeat in to disambiguate:

10 most abundant ingredients in the African and in the European continents.

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Adding both adds some clarity:

10 most abundant ingredients in both African and European continents.

This is perhaps still not 100% (although I would use "across both" instead of "in" or "in both" if I meant 10 in total). However, I would expect the rest of the article to remove any doubt about which is meant.

Also, depending on what you are writing about, I might say "cuisine" instead of "continents" – depends on whether you are talking more about what is grown there or what is eaten there (there may be differences).

Finally, note that both African and European should have initial capital letters (see Should broader types be capitalized?).

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  • "Adding both adds some clarity:" How?
    – Kris
    Mar 28, 2018 at 9:36
  • @Kris Because I see "in both X and Y" as short-hand for "in X and in Y".
    – TripeHound
    Mar 28, 2018 at 9:40
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I think I'm commenting here just to clarify or get things much clearer that you need to add both to easily indicate ohh there's two continents he meant. SO, it would be 10 Most Abundant Ingredients in both African and European Continents, and once again, that structure is quite common in use which is actually what you are expecting. Thank you

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  • Yes, indeed, you are. Please use comments, if you have the privilege.
    – Kris
    Mar 29, 2018 at 5:18

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