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  1. #1
    *^^* is offline Junior Member
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    Smile a few questions about definite article "the"

    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?

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: a few questions about definite article "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by *^^* View Post
    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"?

    No, it's the specific enery needed to go on the walk. I don't have much energy is a general statement. I don't have the energy (to go for a walk) is a specific statement.

    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?
    Not only can it be omitted, it needs to be omitted. It's wrong.
    I need someone else to tell you "why" for your first question.
    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.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: a few questions about definite article "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by *^^* View Post
    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?
    I don't entirely agree with Barb's answer to this. I think there are two possibilities.

    1. I am not interested in English. = the English language.
    2. I am not interested in the English. = the English word/expresssion for "搭

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: a few questions about definite article "the"

    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.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: a few questions about definite article "the"

    Quote Originally Posted by *^^* View Post
    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.
    Nobody else has responded to your first question, so I'll have a try. I think that we use second (only) to ... with the meaning of next in importance after BE without the definite article. The idea of 'pretty important but not as important as ...' is stronger than the 'number two' idea.

    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.

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