Is this a correct statement?

"The lion and tiger belong to the cat family."

Or should it be -

"The lion and the tiger belong to the cat family."

  • 1
    What do you mean by "emphasis"? Standard usage is to name the most important of a pair first. If you wanted to emphasis "tiger" you'd probably say The tiger and [the] lion... Repeating "the" here is mostly just an arbitrary matter of style, which I don't think has any semantic overtones. Oct 31, 2011 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


Either of these statements would be grammatically correct. However, like @FumbleFingers commented, there is no difference in emphasis; rather, it is a matter of style whether to repeat the article "the." However, I would generally use the word both after the second noun, as in:

The lion and tiger both belong to the cat family.

The word both is not strictly necessary, but I would always use it personally. The addition of the word both helps to demonstrate that the lion and the tiger are two different entities, and helps to avoid ambiguity.

  • 1
    I think you would add both to imply that the lion and the tiger are two different entities, not one, which as you properly added isn't necessary, but helps to avoid ambiguity.
    – Frantisek
    Oct 31, 2011 at 1:09
  • 1
    That's very true...I added it to my answer.
    – Brendon
    Oct 31, 2011 at 1:13

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