John has three cups and (a) jug. Jane gave them the notebook and (the) pen

Can the article be omitted in these cases?

  • 2
    No for case one, yes for case two. – RegDwigнt Oct 22 '18 at 8:59
  • No. .............................. – Ricky Oct 22 '18 at 9:18

If we mean a countable form of 'jug', such as a container for a liquid, then we need the article. The reason is that if we omit it, the noun becomes uncountable by default. It does not matter whether uncountable 'jug' exists or not in any dictionary, the mere mention of it creates it for this text.

John has three cups and a jug

We have a different situation for 'pen', because we a list with a repeated structure:

Jane gave them (the book) and (the pen).

We can simplify this to:

Jane gave them the (book and pen).

  • How do you understand this " I have four cats and cars" can this mean that I have four cats and indefinite number of cars? – Rani2Add Oct 22 '18 at 12:24
  • 2
    The most likely interpretation, given the lack of context, would be that since the cats and cars are both plural that there are four cats and four cars. It could mean there are two, three or five or more cars, but then we should write something like: 'four cats and many cars'. – Trevor Christopher Butcher Oct 22 '18 at 12:27

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