Should I include “as a” for every item in a list of jobs, or just the first item?



I have a doubt: should I write:

  1. I worked as a teacher, as housekeeper manager, as a Rep, etc.


  1. I worked as a teacher, housekeeper manager, Rep, etc.


Posted 2019-01-17T17:27:31.047

Reputation: 91

2Did you intentionally omit "a" before "housekeeper manager" in the first example? – Jasper – 2019-01-17T17:40:40.787

@Jasper: Good point. For bonus points, can you think of any context where a "deleted" term could "validly" be *re-introduced" in a subsequent element within such a list? Offhand, I can't. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2019-01-17T17:55:21.437

4@FumbleFingers: "JQ Adams served as a Senator, as President, and as a Representative." Sounds correct to me to drop the article in front of President, even in a list, but perhaps technically incorrect. – Matthew W – 2019-01-17T18:06:20.923

1@MatthewW: I'm not sure "technically incorrect" means anything here. But your example sounds fine to me, so you get the bonus points (or at least, a comment upvote, which is the best I can offer! :) – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2019-01-17T18:35:13.347



Both versions are syntactically fine, but idiomatically native speakers would tend to "delete" all "highly predictable" repetitions of as a in such contexts (or at the very least, delete repeated as).

There's a slightly greater chance that the more verbose version would be understood as meaning I've had several different jobs - for example [blah blah], where the shorter version could be interpreted as My job involved covering several different roles - for example [blah blah]. But that might be because we always tend to look for a more "unusual" interpretation if someone uses less common phrasing, not because of anything inherent in the words themselves.

Per the comment to the question (OP's current text omits a from the second item in the list, in case that gets edited out later), I should point out that it's very unusual (some might say "invalid") to delete any repeated element from such a "list" and then re-introduce it in a subsequent element. You should probably assume you never want to do that.

FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica

Posted 2019-01-17T17:27:31.047

Reputation: 52 587