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Another silly question. I know where to use "a" and where not. At least I thought that I knew. But the following sentence lacks something, or this is what I feel when reading it. Have a look to see if there is a need for "a" before the last component of the sentence. Thanks in advance.

The device has 4 active connectors: power, input-output (I/O), GPS antenna, and GSM antenna.
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Hi,

This sentence is giving a list of the connectors, so there need not be “a” before the last item. To make the list consistent there need either be an article before all of the items, or none of them. I agree though that it does look a little awkward.

- Nick
If you are going to put the articles in the initial list, how would you write the articles in?

The sentence in the list format is as follows:

The device has 4 active connectors: power, input-output (I/O), GPS antenna, and GSM antenna.

You said that to make the list consistent, there needs either articles before all items or none to them all.

With all due respect, is your sentence correct? If it is correct, p/s/ tell why that is?

To make the list consistent, there need either be an article before all of the items or none of them.

Why not,

To make the list consistent, there needs either be articles before all of the items or to none of them all.
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Hi Believer,

to add articles in the sentence you could write

The device has 4 active connectors: a power connector, an input-output (I/O) connector………and a GSM antenna connector. This is obviously not as snappy a sentence as the original but it is OK.

To make the list consistent, there needs either be articles before all of the items or to none of them all is incorrect. The best sentence is:

To make the list consistent, there either needs to be articles before all of the items, or none of them (..or before none of them would be better as it makes the meaning clearer.)

Thanks for pulling me up on my sentence. I am confident that it is correct but I realise it is too complicated. I am not a grammarian but I think "there need either be" is the subjunctive mood. (A very strict grammarian might argue that we should write "there need be either…" in order to avoid splitting there need be, but most people would think this results in a rather inelegant phrase). If you have not covered the subjunctive yet, please don't worry about this! -The last sentence above in blue is perfectly fine.

- Nick
Thanks again, Nick.
Thank you. Do the writers normally follow your suggestion of making the list all articled-up or all article-free?

I am asking this question beacause sometimes I see a lot of lists with jumbled-up articles - they werern't being consistent, I think.

What do you think? If a prudent writer write a list, Should he or she better follow your suggestion?
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A list will usually have no articles, as adding articles makes the list look cumbersome. Most lists will be consistent throughout, though you will sometimes see that the writer has added "and a" or "and some" to the last item on a list. This is to make the sound of the sentence flow better.

If the list is written out as a "proper" list, or as a bulleted or numbered list, you don't need articles, or commas. Here is an example - -

A list like this:

Tomatoes

Bread

Apples

-- Does that help? - Nick
Thank you.

Can you give me some examples of the cases where the writers have added "and a" and "some" to the last item on the lists to make the sound of the lists flow better?