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  1. #1
    IWantToKnow is offline Newbie
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    Question "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    Can someone please tell me which of the following is correct? (It may be confusing, and if you find it to be so, please let me know so that I can edit it)

    -The first time that I picked up the cup, I spilled the water.

    or

    -At the first time that I picked up the cup, I spilled the water.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantToKnow View Post
    Can someone please tell me which of the following is correct? (It may be confusing, and if you find it to be so, please let me know so that I can edit it)

    -The first time that I picked up the cup, I spilled the water.

    or

    -At the first time that I picked up the cup, I spilled the water.

    Thank you for your time.
    The first is correct and natural. You could omit the "that" if you wish.

  3. #3
    IWantToKnow is offline Newbie
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    Question Re: "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The first is correct and natural. You could omit the "that" if you wish.
    I appreciate the swiftness of your reply, but could you please explain why the second is wrong, as opposed to the first? Again, thank you for answering the question.

  4. #4
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantToKnow View Post
    I appreciate the swiftness of your reply, but could you please explain why the second is wrong, as opposed to the first? Again, thank you for answering the question.
    I just doesn't seem natural to me.

  5. #5
    IWantToKnow is offline Newbie
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    Re: "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    Thanks for trying, but unfortunately this was not the answer I was looking for.

    On a more hopeful note, would anyone like to contribute a legitimate reason as for why the first sentence is better than the second one?

  6. #6
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Re: "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    The second probably isn't grammatically wrong. But I bet among all the people you ask, 9 out of 10 would go for the first. Sometimes statistics just prevail over grammatical legitimacy.
    ----------------NOT A TEACHER------------------

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: "At the first time" vs "The first time"

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantToKnow View Post

    ...would anyone like to contribute a legitimate reason as for why the first sentence is better than the second one?
    You're a native speaker, IWantToKnow. You must be aware that certain arrangements of words don't collocate (go naturally together).

    'At the first time' is not a natural collocation and that's a perfectly 'legitimate reason' why the first sentence is better than the second.

    Rover

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