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This is the most natural and original drink.

Does the definite article before 'natural' also modify 'original'? Or does it mean

This is the most natural drink, and it's original.'

If so, then is this the most common way to use pair adjectives? Or actually below is:

This is the most natural and the most original drink.

I'm confused by the usage of definite article here, thank you for your help.

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  • "The" is not a modifier here but (in your first example) a determiner determining the head nominal "most natural and original drink". The nominal consists of the two adjective phrases "most natural" and "and original drink". – BillJ Nov 9 '20 at 14:27
  • You must understand that "the most" is not a modifier. "The" is a determiner and "most" is the modifier."The" is a determiner of the whole noun phrase: "the most natural and original drink". You've approved a wrong answer. – BillJ Nov 10 '20 at 7:33
  • @BillJ, based on your theory, what does this sentence mean? 1. This is the most natural and the most original drink. 2. This is the most natural drink, and it's original. Which one does the sentence in the question mean? – Sil Zec Nov 11 '20 at 4:36
  • "This is the [most natural] [and original] drink". – BillJ Nov 11 '20 at 7:21
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"The most" modifies both "natural" and "original".

"Natural" and "original" form an adjectival phrase and "the most" modifies it.

If you wished to write a sentence in which "the most" only modified "natural" then "original" would need an article.

The is the most natural and an original drink.

That sentence is open to misinterpretation, and personally I would rewrite it for clarity, e.g.

This is both an original drink and the most natural drink

is abundantly clear.

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  • Than you for the answer! Does "The two" in "The two form an adjectival phrase" refer to "natural and original"? Did you mean "This is the most natural and an original drink" is open for misinterpretation? Also, would "This is the most natural and the most original drink." be considered redundant for the existence of the second definite article? – Sil Zec Nov 9 '20 at 3:01
  • "This is the most natural and the most original drink." would be fine. It removes any possibility of misunderstanding and emphasizes both. – DJClayworth Nov 9 '20 at 4:21
  • Sorry to nitpick, but in the first example "the" is not a modifier but a determiner. It determines the head nominal consisting of the coordination of two AdjPs "most natural" and "and original" followed by the head "drink". That analysis assumes that "most" belongs in the first coordinate and modifies just "natural", since "original" is hardly gradable. – BillJ Nov 9 '20 at 14:42
  • Now I'm confused, so 'the most' only modifies 'natural' here but not 'original'? @BillJ – Sil Zec Nov 10 '20 at 3:21
  • @BillJ Please don't post comments that contradict the answer. If you disagree with this answer please post your own. – DJClayworth Nov 10 '20 at 4:28

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