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Dear teachers and native speakers:

Please teach me if each of the following is correct or not. Also, please indicate me the differences among those:

1) Press the Enter key and the Alt key (at the same time).
2) Press the Enter key and Alt key (at the same time).
3) Press the Enter and Alt key (at the same time).
4) Press Enter+Alt key (at the same time).
5) Press the Enter+Alt key (at the same time).
6) Press the Enter and Alt keys./Press the Enter+Alt keys.

For example, are 3) and 5) above acceptable, though there are two different keys on the keyboard? Of course, if it is seen as one set, it could be acceptable as "key," not "keys" though.... Is my understanding wrong?

How about 4)? Is is acceptable or gramatically correct without an article "the" in this case?

Hmmm, someone, teachers, native speakers, please help me clear out this problem
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Comments  
Gori1) Press the Enter key and the Alt key (at the same time).
2) Press the Enter key and Alt key (at the same time).
3) Press the Enter and Alt key (at the same time).
4) Press Enter+Alt key (at the same time).
5) Press the Enter+Alt key (at the same time).
6) Press the Enter and Alt keys./Press the Enter+Alt keys.

I don't know if your parenthetical expressions are included in your instructions.
IMHO, two through five are ungrammatical.

Press the Enter key and the Alt key together.
Press the Enter and [the] Alt keys together.
These are the only versions I'd recommend.

"Press Enter and Alt" would be taken as the same instruction by the initiated.

For example, are 3) and 5) above acceptable, though there are two different keys on the keyboard? Of course, if it is seen as one set, it could be acceptable as "key," not "keys" though.... Is my understanding wrong?

How about 4)? Is is acceptable or gramatically correct without an article "the" in this case?

Hmmm, someone, teachers, native speakers, please help me clear out this problem Crying" src="" mce_src="/emoticons/emotion-9.gif">

In my experience, the usual wording is "Press Alt+Enter". I have never seen anyone write it as "Enter+Alt". More explicitly, you could say "Press Enter while holding down the Alt key". Your wording "at the same time" isn't ideal because you need to press Alt first (even if only fractionally). I'm assuming your application works in the standard way.

I therefore wouldn't recommend any of your sentences, but looking at them from a purely grammatical perspective:

1) Press the Enter key and the Alt key (at the same time). -- grammatically OK
2) Press the Enter key and Alt key (at the same time). -- grammatically OK

3) Press the Enter and Alt keys (at the same time). -- there are two keys
4) Press Enter+Alt key (at the same time). -- No. You need "the", but in any case "Enter+Alt" is not a "key" (and you can't press one key "at the same time").
5) Press the Enter+Alt key (at the same time). -- No. Objections as #4.
6) Press the Enter and Alt keys. -- grammatically OK.

Press the Enter+Alt keys. -- No, doesn't seem right.
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Mr Wordy you need to press Alt first
Hello again, Mr. Wordy. You're absolutely right, of course. I can't believe I missed that. Emotion: embarrassed I should have asked my fingers instead of my brain!

Cheers! - A.
Dear Mr. Wordy:

I see, thank you for your points and comments!

By the way, why do you say 2) ("Press the Enter key and Alt key") is grammatically correct? Does "the" not necessarily have to be placed before "Alt key"? I mean...does "the" need not to be repeated again like the case 1)? Avangy says that 2) is also ungrammatical though...hmmm, how can I deal with this problem? Please help me
GoriBy the way, why do you say 2) ("Press the Enter key and Alt key") is grammatically correct? Does "the" not necessarily have to be placed before "Alt key"?

No, not necessarily. "The" can distribute across a list of items. I think that the more disparate the items, the more one feels that "the" needs to be repeated, but in your example the two things are closely related.
GoriAvangy says that 2) is also ungrammatical though...hmmm, how can I deal with this problem? Please help me
Well, I guess we have different opinions. For a consensus view you'd need more people's comments. Anyone?
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Hi, Gori.
My opinion about #2 being ungrammatical was based on failure to repeat "the." But I agree with Wordy that the "the" may be said to distribute. I guess I was making what's called a "hypercorrection."

"You brihg the vodka; I'll bring the beer and wine."

"You drive the red car; I'll drive the green car or blue car." (sort of a grey area)

It surely sounds natural. Emotion: happy

- A.
Mr. Wordy and Avangi:

You both helped me a lot!

Thank you!

This is just my conclusion though, 1), 2), and 6) are grammatically okay; however, 1) and 6) are, in a way, more formal than 2). Is my understanding correct? No?

Also, the omission of "the" in 2) can be explained as follows (inserted from one article mentioning the parallel structure):

"Parallelism requires that an article (a, an or the) or preposition applying to all members of a series must either appear before the first item only or be repeated before each item."

You native speakers are such imporatant teachers to me!

I truly appreciate your contributions to my thread!
Gori
This is just my conclusion though, 1), 2), and 6) are grammatically okay; however, 1) and 6) are, in a way, more formal than 2). Is my understanding correct? No?


No, I wouldn't say that. To me, they're just equivalent ways of saying the same thing. I don't notice any particular difference in tone, or formality, or anything else. (I'm talking about the first sentence in #6. The second does not seem right.)
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