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    smun50 is offline Newbie
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    using definite article "the" with ordinal numbers

    Please help! What is the rule for using "the" with ordinal numbers? Specifically, in front of places in a race. For example, "Mom's team won second prize?" Why is it not "won THE second prize?" Also, "Mom's team came in first (second, third, etc) place?" I can not find a specific rule for this other than, it sounds unnatural. Is it also incorrect to say "Mom's team won THE first prize?" This is VERY confusing!!

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    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Re: using definite article "the" with ordinal numbers

    NOT A TEACHER

    Quote Originally Posted by smun50 View Post
    For example, "Mom's team won second prize?" Why is it not "won THE second prize?"
    It's idiomatic to leave out the article. "the second prize" would imply that mom's team won the second prize that was awarded. In other words, it indicates the order in which the prizes were handed out.

    You may also whish to take a look at the following two threads:

    first prize?
    first prize/the first prize - WordReference Forums
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 08-Oct-2012 at 12:22. Reason: added a few additional lines

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