Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mini Grammar Quiz on Repeating Adjectives

Which is correct in each pair of sentences?

1. She gave birth to a boy and girl.
2. She gave birth to a boy and a girl.

1. Please feed the chickens and the cows.
2. Please feed the chickens and cows.

1. I would like some ice cream and some sauerkraut.
2. I would like some ice cream and sauerkraut.

Anyone curious for the answers? I'll post soon, with explanation. (By the way, I just discovered the reason myself a couple of weeks ago.)


Jessi said...

Ok, here's my guess... The correct sentences are those that have a/the/some with both of the words. They are compound predicates, and need a/the/some to indicate two separate things. Like, you don't want ice cream and sauerkraut as one dish, you want them separately. You need to be able to drop either of the simple predicates and still have a complete sentence.

Am I anywhere close?

Laurie said...

Yes, I'm curious!

Sarah said...

2, 1, 1

I think that's what my Praxis book taught me! :)

Otherwise, it would sound like she gave birth to a baby who is half boy and half girl.

For the second one, I am not sure I'm right. I'm trying to follow the rules, but I could see how number 2 could be okay.

For the 3rd, number 2 sounds like it would be sauerkraut ice cream, rather than two separate foods.

Hoping I'm right, or I just wasted a few minutes explaining something incorrectly.

krista said...

I agree with Sarah...2,1,1.

Anonymous said...

Jessi and Sarah, you pretty well got it with the one thing vs. two thing reasoning.

One adjective before EACH thing if each is a separate thing. (A person can't be both boy and girl. Michael Jackson might have been the exception.)

Use one adjective before just one if the thing CAN be one. Example: Mr. Smith wants to hire a bookkeeper and secretary. One person can do both jobs.)

Chickens can't also be cows, and a dish of sauerkraut, while I suppose not TECHNICALLY wrong, just has never shown up in any cookbook I've ever seen as ONE dish. But perhaps in a "What to Expect When You're Expecting" could feature it in the diet/cravings chapter???)

Anonymous said...

Oops, hey Krista! Your comment must've popped in while my answer was posting. You're right if you're agreeing w/ Sarah.

Zoanna said...

Why is my name posting as Anon when I clicked on the Name bullet????


Rachelle said...

My guesses:

#1: unless the woman gave birth to twins??
#2: do the chickens live with the cows and eat the same thing?
#3: I do not like my ice cream with sauerkraut!

Zoanna said...


1. Even twins are 2 separate people, thus needing an adjective before each.

2. Consumption by the livestock is irrelevant.

3. Nor do I. Too gaseous.

Laurie said...

Great! I cannot promise to use this rule impeccably either when writing or talking, but I'll be much more self-conscious now I dare say!~ I enjoyed the examples and the answers!