a few questions about definite article "the"
1. "Swimming is second in importance only to track and field events."
Why don't we add "the" in front of "second"? as follows,
"Swimming is the second in importance only to track and field events."
2. "My neighbor asked me to go for a walk, but I dont think I've got the energy." In this sentence , can we omitted "the"?
3."Do you know the English for "搭“？ I'm afraid I don't. I'm not interested in the English." Can "the" be omitted?
Ah. I hadn't read it that way. I was thinking "I don't care about the language in general."
But if you think about it they way 5jj explained, I completely agree with him.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
In other constructions the 'number two position' is more important, and we use the definte article:
The most important/popular sports activity at Nonsuch College is wrestling; the second most important/popular is swimming.