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  1. wotcha's Avatar
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    #1

    Give him a/ the second chance.

    We say "Give him a second chance" and I wonder why second follows 'a' not 'the'

    even though 'second' is ordinal.



    Thank you.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Give him a/ the second chance.

    I don't know why people think "the" is the only article you can use with an ordinal number. You are not the first person to suggest this "rule."

    A second change = another chance, not "the other" chance.
    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. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Give him a/ the second chance.

    If you are not sure about that, just take a second look at Barb's post. Or you could ask for a second opinion.

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    #4

    Re: Give him a/ the second chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post
    We say "Give him a second chance" and I wonder why second follows 'a' not 'the'

    even though 'second' is ordinal.



    Thank you.
    In your example, "the" would be OK if the situation stated that the person is permitted two (or more) chances and the person had failed on the first, perhaps a rare, but possible, scenario.

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