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    #1

    First/second or Firstly/secondly

    I have come across essays where points are presented in a numerical order.

    At the start of the paragraph, is it correct to write: First, ......?
    Or should it be: Firstly, .... ? (which I am used to)
    There are also people who write: First off, ....
    Which is correct?
    I wouldn't number the points that way myself though. I would rather have them listed as 1, 2, 3...etc because it becomes awkward after the fourth or fifth time.
    Last edited by tedmc; 23-Jan-2015 at 04:27.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: First/second or Firstly/secondly

    I've actually come across a prescriptive grammar book that argues that first should be accepted as an adverb, but second and third etc. should not. According to this dross "secondly" and "thirdly" require the "-ly" suffix in order to be adverbs. The truth is that you can freely choose between the "-ly" and its omission, provided of course that you are consistent in your choice.

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    #3

    Re: First/second or Firstly/secondly

    See also the Similar Threads below.

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    #4

    Re: First/second or Firstly/secondly

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    I've actually come across a prescriptive grammar book that argues that first should be accepted as an adverb, but second and third etc. should not.
    I've seen that too and it makes no sense- going one way or the other is logical.

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