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Thread: first thing

  1. #1
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Cool first thing

    Hello!

    Is this correct: The first thing they did was to introduce themselves?

    Thanks a lot.
    W

  2. #2
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    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: first thing

    Yes, it is. ( Except the question mark)

    Is this correct ?: The first thing they did was to introduce themselves.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: first thing

    'The first thing' means what it says. Without the article, 'first thing' means 'the first thing in the day' [=very early]. So 'Our flight is at 7.00, so we'll have to get up first thing'. And it doesn't have to be early in absolute terms (about dawn); it can also refer to the beginning of, say, a working day: 'All right, you don't have to do it now, but you must do it first thing tomorrow'.

    b

  4. #4
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Cool Re: first thing

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    'The first thing' means what it says. Without the article, 'first thing' means 'the first thing in the day' [=very early]. So 'Our flight is at 7.00, so we'll have to get up first thing'. And it doesn't have to be early in absolute terms (about dawn); it can also refer to the beginning of, say, a working day: 'All right, you don't have to do it now, but you must do it first thing tomorrow'.

    b
    Thank you. And is the use of the infinitive form correct in this case? "The first thing they did was to introduce themselves. (Would it be better to use "introducing"? )

    Thanks a lot.
    W

  5. #5
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    Re: first thing

    The to-infinitive sounds better to me, but if the focus is on the process the gerund is possible.

    b

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