It seems that the question has eventually become a series of questions....

An example goes as:

The 1st and (the) 2nd paragraphs of the article are extremely long.

Another example:

What are the situation, (the) task and (the) result of your story?

Is it necessary to use the in ()?

1 Answer 1


Generally, repeating the word "the" before items in a list is not necessary. Think of "the" as being distributed across all the elements.

However, there are some exceptions.

The first paragraph, which is the funniest paragraph of the article, and the second paragraph are extremely long.

Here, the "the" is necessary because you've entered and exited a dependent clause, which the "the" cannot distribute across.

Generally, if it might be confusing to a reader or listener, include the word "the". Similarly, if it would be distracting, omit it.

  • 4
    I agree that in the first example, the first and (the) second paragraphs are extremely long, the is not needed the second time. This is because first and second are adjectives modifying a common plural noun (paragraphs). In the last example in the question, What are the situation, (the) task and (the) result of your story, all the articles are needed since we are talking about separate coordinate nouns. However, if the coordinate nouns made up a single idea, we would not need an article for each of the nouns.
    – Tragicomic
    Jan 21, 2011 at 9:28
  • @Tragicomic I think the answer will be more complete with your comment. XD
    – user3812
    Jan 21, 2011 at 10:17

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