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Thread: first/the first

  1. #1
    petr is offline Junior Member
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    first/the first

    IŽd like to ask when we use the first and first
    For example I was surpised when I saw sentence: He won first price.-without the
    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: first/the first

    We omit the article to avoid ambiguity.

    "He won the first prize" could mean that he won the first prize that was given out. That prize could have been for "honorable mention, last place."

    We would, however say, "He won the blue ribbon," or "He won the first-place trophy."

  3. #3
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    Re: first/the first

    Hi Petr,
    I've never seen a rule, but my listening/reading practice tells me you should not use the with cardinals in a context of competitions:
    X. came second in the race.
    Our team won third place.
    M. Mirny was seventh.
    And not only in sport.
    Best wishes.

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