It would be correct to say "was the first to do something".
Student or Learner
Can I say: "He was first to (do something)" or should I always say: "He was THE first to (do something)"?
I mean, not "the first person to (do)...", but "(THE?) first to (do)".
Such an essential and basic issue, but keeps bothering me.
Last edited by mrtke; 27-May-2015 at 23:07.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
Last edited by mrtke; 30-May-2015 at 10:39.
I sensed no aggression — maybe a touch of exasperation at having to answer the same question twice.
I find the one without "the" off. Maybe personal opinion but maybe an AmE/BrE difference?
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.
'Someone was first to do something.'
'Someone was happy to do something.'
Both are correct because both 'first' and 'happy' are adjectives.
Am I right or wrong? Not a teacher.