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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #1

    a first attempt at web design

    I found this sentence in Oxford dictionary while looking up the definition of the word "attempt". I don't quite understand why the author wrote "a first attempt" when we normally use "the" with "first", "last".

    Sue designed the website herself and for a first attempt at web design it is an ambitious project!
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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    #2

    Re: a first attempt at web design

    As they say, there is a first time for everything.

    Seriously though, I think it is because 'a first attempt' does not specifically describe her first attempt; it is an abstraction, which is about anyone's first attempt at web design. The overall idea of this, I think, is to make a comparison between what she did designing a web page for the (understood as 'her') first time and what other people do for their first times.

    Not a teacher.
    Last edited by Weaver67; 04-Aug-2016 at 12:50. Reason: 'a slip of the pen'

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    #3

    Re: a first attempt at web design

    Somebody else years ago made the first attempt at web design.

  4. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a first attempt at web design

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Somebody else years ago made the first attempt at web design.
    If I said "the first attempt" in the sentence above, would it irritate your ears?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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    #5

    Re: a first attempt at web design

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Somebody else years ago made the first attempt at web design.
    With the result that we are all happy to see and make use of now?

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    #6

    Re: a first attempt at web design

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    If I said "the first attempt" in the sentence above, would it irritate your ears?
    It would be wrong. It is her first attempt. It is a first attempt (with the understanding that it is her first attempt). But it is not the first attempt.

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