+0
Hello,everyone

I saw a grammar rule in my grammars books (not only one book) and I have some doubt about it.

Normally, we say:

We sent for a doctor and a nurse.

But my grammars books say this will have the same meaning as the above one:

We sent for a doctor and nurse.

My books say "a doctor and nurse" can mean "a doctor and a nurse", because "doctor" and "nurse" are two quite different nouns, there's no doubt recognizing them as "two people"; however, those books are kind of old (published in 1980s), so I don't know if people still use this expression today.

In my opinion, "a doctor and nurse" could mean "a doctor who also serves as a nurse", just like "a black and white cat" means "a cat which has black and white fur", am I right?

Would you please give me your opinion about my question? Thank you very much!
+0
ViceidolHello,everyone

I saw a grammar rule in my grammars books (not only one book) and I have some doubt about it.

Normally, we say:

We sent for a doctor and a nurse.

But my grammars books say this will have the same meaning as the above one:

We sent for a doctor and nurse.

My books say "a doctor and nurse" can mean "a doctor and a nurse", because "doctor" and "nurse" are two quite different nouns, there's no doubt recognizing them as "two people"; however, those books are kind of old (published in 1980s), so I don't know if people still use this expression today.

In my opinion, "a doctor and nurse" could mean "a doctor who also serves as a nurse", just like "a black and white cat" means "a cat which has black and white fur", am I right?

Would you please give me your opinion about my question? Thank you very much!
I would repeat the article: I have a truck and car; he drank a beer and glass of wine; the apartment has a bedroom and bath - these just don't sound good to me without the second article.
+0
In my opinion, "a doctor and nurse" could mean "a doctor who also serves as a nurse", just like "a black and white cat" means "a cat which has black and white fur", am I right?

First, your examples are not similar -- "A doctor and nurse" contains two nouns, while "a black and white cat" has a single noun modified by two adjectives.

More to the point -- I don't think any native speaker would interpret either "a doctor and nurse" or "a doctor and a nurse" to mean "a doctor who also serves as a nurse." If that's what you wanted to express, you would need some clarifying word such as "both" -- "He acted as both a doctor and a nurse", "She was trained as a doctor and also as a nurse" -- and, as you see, in both of these examples I have used "a" before each noun.

I agree with Philip that "a doctor and a nurse" sounds better than "a doctor and nurse," but I wouldn't call the version with only one "a" wrong. In various possible pairs of nouns, I think if you leave out the second "a" it suggests that the two nouns form a set or are usually together or related in some way. For example, I would say

"I put on a hat and coat," but not "I put on a hat and swimsuit"

"A mother and child entered the room" but not "a mother and electrician entered the room"

"Please put a knife and fork at each place" but not "please put a knife and menu at each place"

So, whether or not I would be likely to say "a doctor and nurse" entered the room might depend on whether I thought they were working together, or just happened to be there at the same time.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Comments  
Hello,

To me 'a doctor and nurse' would mean the same as 'a doctor and a nurse' as it is not common for a person to be both. I would not even consider that it meant one person. I have only just started teaching English but I thought as I'm from England my opinion would be of value. I hope I helped.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
In my English book there's also that 'problem' appearing. A sentence goes like this...

True, it's unlikely that you'll be ready to toss out the keyboard and mouse any time soon.

(Text is about future operating systems)

Why here goes the keyboard and mouse, and not the keyboard and the mouse???