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Hi,
in the following examples some nouns are repeated and so they are redundant. How would you simplify them? I'm interested in other ways to rephrase such structures, also casual ways used in informal speech.
  1. The CNN website and the BBC website have simple punctuation with no em-dashes.
  2. A double hyphen is used instead of the em-dash on the CNN website and the BBC website.
  3. A black cat and a white cat were staring at me from the windowsill.
  4. I looked out the window but all I could see was a black cat and a white cat.
Sometimes I replace the noun with the pronoun "one", but that doesn't always sound good to me. Otherwise, I drop a noun and use a structure like "the CNN and the BBC website(s)", but I'm never sure whether I should use the singular or the plural in such cases, and so I don't feel comfortable.
Thanks.
Comments  
Hi,

in the following examples some nouns are repeated and so they are redundant. How would you simplify them? I'm interested in other ways to rephrase such structures, also casual ways used in informal speech.

  1. The CNN website and the BBC website have simple punctuation with no em-dashes.
  2. A double hyphen is used instead of the em-dash on the CNN website and the BBC website.
  3. A black cat and a white cat were staring at me from the windowsill.
  4. I looked out the window but all I could see was a black cat and a white cat.


  5. Sometimes I replace the noun with the pronoun "one", but that doesn't always sound good to me. Otherwise, I drop a noun and use a structure like "the CNN and the BBC website(s)", but I'm never sure whether I should use the singular or the plural in such cases, and so I don't feel comfortable.

    Here's what I'd say.


    1. The CNN and BBC websites have simple punctuation with no em-dashes.
    2. A double hyphen is used instead of the em-dash on the CNN and BBC websites.
    3. A black cat and a white one were staring at me from the windowsill.
    4. I looked out the window but all I could see was a black cat and a white one.


    5. Clive

Thanks.
But this is driving me crazy... Emotion: angryEmotion: crying
I can't think of any rule of thumbs or any consistent patterns. It just seems like it's random, and I don't know how I could ever understand this. Isn't it possible to rephrase those sentences in yet another way? Is "a black and a white cat" not possible?
Clive# The CNN website and the BBC website have simple punctuation with no em-dashes.
# A double hyphen is used instead of the em-dash on the CNN website and the BBC website.
# A black cat and a white cat were staring at me from the windowsill.
# I looked out the window but all I could see was a black cat and a white cat.
Here are a couple more examples to simplify...

The first picture and the third picture show some additional details.

In the first picture and the third picture you can see how the engine works.
Which ones do you like? -- I don't like the green one and the yellow one, but the others are all beautiful.

Thank you.
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Hi,

Isn't it possible to rephrase those sentences in yet another way? Is "a black and a white cat" not possible?

These are all correct, but generally speaking I'd say that (educated) native speakers tend to avoid repeating nouns in the same sentence in this way. Unless it is done deliberateley, eg for style or emphasis.


Clive

“# The CNN website and the BBC website have simple punctuation with no em-dashes.
# A double hyphen is used instead of the em-dash on the CNN website and the BBC website.
# A black cat and a white cat were staring at me from the windowsill.
# I looked out the window but all I could see was a black cat and a white cat.”
Here are a couple more examples to simplify...

The first picture and the third picture show some additional details.

The first picture and the third one show some additional details.

The first and third pictures show some additional details.

Additional details are in shown in pictures 1 and 3.



In the first picture and the third picture you can see how the engine works.

Similar to the one above

Which ones do you like? -- I don't like the green one and the yellow one, but the others are all beautiful.

I don't like the green and (or) yellow ones, but the others are all beautiful.

don't like the green and (or) yellow, but the others are all beautiful.

A degree of ambiguity is usually OK in the way you say these things. The context often makes it very clear, or the listener can ask a question if he cares.

Clive
Thank you again.[Y]

I didn't understand what you meant here:

CliveIsn't it possible to rephrase those sentences in yet another way? Is "a black and a white cat" not possible?
These are all correct, but generally speaking I'd say that (educated) native speakers tend to avoid repeating nouns in the same sentence in this way. Unless it is done deliberately, eg for style or emphasis.
I was referring to structures like "A black and a white cat were playing in the garden", or "I voted for the first and the third girl". I found those structures mentioned on the net in some grammar books, for example:
Elements of English Grammar

When there is not chance of ambiguity, because the adjectives cannot be taken ad descriptive of a single being, English idiom allows us either to repeat the article with the noun in the singular, or to use it only once with the noun in the plural. So we may say "The Old and the New Testament", or "The Old and New Testaments"; "the singular and the plural number" or "the singular and plural numbers" [...]
The problem is... I've noticed that book was originally published in 1894! Emotion: embarrassed

So the solutions so far are:
  • Replacing one noun with the pronoun "one": the black cat and the white one.
  • Dropping one noun and its article completely, using the plural: the black and white cats (= the black cat and the white one, even if it can be ambiguous)
  • Dropping one noun but not its article, using the singular: the black and the white cat.
You suggested the first two solutions. What do you think about the third? Is is not popular anymore?

Thanks.
Hi,

Sorry. I was confused by how you presented it. I thought you meant

eg a black cat and a white cat . . .

Elements of English Grammar

When there is not chance of ambiguity, because the adjectives cannot be taken ad descriptive of a single being, English idiom allows us either to repeat the article with the noun in the singular, or to use it only once with the noun in the plural. So we may say "The Old and the New Testament", or "The Old and New Testaments"; "the singular and the plural number" or "the singular and plural numbers" [...]

The problem is... I've noticed that book was originally published in 1894!

The above examples both sound OK to me, but I think the 'plural noun' version is now much more common.

So the solutions so far are:

  • Replacing one noun with the pronoun "one": the black cat and the white one.

  • Dropping one noun and its article completely, using the plural: the black and white cats (= the black cat and the white one, even if it can be ambiguous)
  • Dropping one noun but not its article, using the singular: the black and the white cat.


  • You suggested the first two solutions. What do you think about the third? Is is not popular anymore?

    It's OK, but not so common, as I said.

    In speech, we tend not to plan our sentences carefully before we speak.We often mention eg the black cat, before we think 'Oh yeah, there's a white one, too'. That's why #1 is common in speech.

    In writing, we can plan more ahead of time. That's why #2 and #3 seem to me more typical of writing. Also #1 is used, too.

    Clive
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I understand. Thank you! Emotion: bow