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  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    He is one dan / He has one dan

    He's 1 dan/kyu. (It's about Asian ranking system, often seen in martial arts, such as karate and judo).

    Personally, I thought that the proper way of saying this was "a first dan". But yesterday I saw a documentary where I heard that as "one dan". Unfortunately, I don't clearly remember if the sentences had the verb "be" or "have", but it seems to me that it was "be" (e.g. "I am one dan"). So my questions are:
    1. Is it correct to say "He is one dan"? Could it be that I misheard the sentences (there were a few, but I'm not sure about them all ) and there was the verb "have" instead (e.g. "He has one dan")?
    2. Is it possible to say "He is a first dan"?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: He is one dan / He has one dan

    I would use first dan, and this suggests the same, though I am no martial artist:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_(rank)

  3. #3
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: He is one dan / He has one dan

    What about a sentence like this: It's a long way from five kyu to one dan?

    Here's one of those sentences from the documentary that I can't understand: When you get to one dan/ two dan (it's possible that it should be written "one-dan/ two-dan", I don't know) you start realizing "I don't know anything".

    Maybe rephrasing is the key here. Myself, I would use in all the examples I've given ordinal numerals, but I'm merely a learner...

  4. #4
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    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: He is one dan / He has one dan

    It's better to say from 5th kyu to 1st dan.

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