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  1. #31
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Okay, it's finally clear to me now what your question is! You're not asking about the various uses of either the phrase the second time, or a second time as regards meaning, use or grammar, and you're not really asking asking about why This is a second time is wrong. What you're actually asking is what permits the use of the indefinite article in the phrase a second time, whether that phrase appears in the sentence I'm reading Hamlet for a second time or in any other phrase. This is essentially a question about reference, with respect to article use and definiteness. It's essentially the same question that you've been asking for a couple of years. You're thinking something like: 'Surely there can be only one second time, so how can 'a second time' make any sense at all?'

    Does that sound right? I think it is.

  2. #32
    Alexey86 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    and you're not really asking asking about why This is a second time is wrong.
    I really am asking that.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    What you're actually asking is what permits the use of the indefinite article in the phrase a second time, whether that phrase appears in the sentence I'm reading Hamlet for a second time or in any other phrase.

    As I said, I feel no difficulties with the indefinite article before second/third, etc. Suppose I met a friend of mine and he shares news with me, "By the way, I'm building a house in Austin and finishing a second floor." This is completely new information to me, so the indefinite article works well. I read the Ludwig examples more or less the same way.

    If you feel tired and exhausted, I'll understand.
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  3. #33
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    . Suppose I met a friend of mine and he shares news with me, "By the way, I'm building a house in Austin and finishing a second floor." This is completely new information to me, so the indefinite article works well.
    It doesn't for me. If you are building a house, it's a reasonable assumption that it's going to have a first floor (ground floor, BrE) and a second floor (first floor, BrE). Once you have completed the first/ground floor of your house you will go on to the second/first floor. However, if you have the type of one-story house called a bungalow in BrE, and you decide to extend upwards, you could say that you were going to build a first/second floor.

  4. #34
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I really am asking that.
    Okay, I'll leave the conversation then because I don't think that's a productive question and I've given you at least three unsatisfactory answers already. It's wrong because it's ungrammatical, it's wrong because it doesn't make sense, it's wrong because it doesn't express what the speaker means, it's wrong because that isn't how the phrase a second time is used. What else do you want me to say? What other ways can something be wrong? What kind of answer are you looking for?

  5. #35
    Alexey86 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It doesn't for me. If you are building a house, it's a reasonable assumption that it's going to have a first floor (ground floor, BrE) and a second floor (first floor, BrE). Once you have completed the first/ground floor of your house you will go on to the second/first floor. However, if you have the type of one-story house called a bungalow in BrE, and you decide to extend upwards, you could say that you were going to build a first/second floor.
    You're right. The most common context for a second floor is when it wasn't initially planned:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	second.png 
Views:	6 
Size:	29.9 KB 
ID:	3999

    But what do think of this example: At the front door: a stuffed eagle nested near a set of jumbo crystals. Large wooden toadstools are scattered about. The staircase leading to a second floor is printed with blue hoof prints. Giddyup, girlfriends!
    (https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/f...s-to-soho.html)
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  6. #36
    Alexey86 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    What else do you want me to say? What other ways can something be wrong? What kind of answer are you looking for?
    Why is this is a second time wrong, while these examples are correct:

    (I mean only the right picture. I can't delete the left one)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails second.png   a second.png  
    Last edited by Alexey86; 11-Apr-2021 at 12:10.
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  7. #37
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post


    But what do think of this example: At the front door: a stuffed eagle nested near a set of jumbo crystals. Large wooden toadstools are scattered about. The staircase leading to a second floor is printed with blue hoof prints. Giddyup, girlfriends!
    In the earlier example, the indefinite article did not work. In this one it's possible.

  8. #38
    Alexey86 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In the earlier example, the indefinite article did not work. In this one it's possible.
    Why is the not necessary there? Isn't the number of floors known to the speaker?

    Why is this is a second time wrong, while these examples are correct:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	a second.png 
Views:	4 
Size:	34.8 KB 
ID:	4002
    Last edited by Alexey86; 11-Apr-2021 at 12:17.
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  9. #39
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    I don't understand the question, I'm afraid. What's the point of asking why something is wrong? What do you mean by wrong? Can you give an example of the kind of answer you're looking for?

  10. #40
    Alexey86 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't understand the question, I'm afraid. What's the point of asking why something is wrong? What do you mean by wrong? Can you give an example of the kind of answer you're looking for?
    Let's back to my picture and consider the structure this is a second X:

    This is a second act...
    This is a second version...
    This is a second career...

    All these are correct and make sense, right? Then we put time after second and the phrase becomes wrong. It's a mystery to me.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 11-Apr-2021 at 13:15.
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