the first time - for the first time

Kotfor

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Ukrainian
Home Country
Belarus
Current Location
Ukraine
Are both sentences correct? What is the difference in their meanings?

1) Most animals can swim right away the first time they go into water.
2) Most animals can swim right away for the first time they go into water.

To me, it sounds as 2 means that animals can swim only once, that is, only during their first swimming.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I agree with you that the second sentence is peculiar. In your first sentence, "right away" is not needed.
 

Kotfor

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Ukrainian
Home Country
Belarus
Current Location
Ukraine
I agree with you that the second sentence is peculiar. In your first sentence, "right away" is not needed.
Thank you. Don't you find it a mildly incorrect in terms of grammar, as some natives have said that? I mean sentence 2.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Sentence 2 is grammatical. That means that all of the words are used correctly in the sentence. But it is not natural English.
 

Kotfor

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Ukrainian
Home Country
Belarus
Current Location
Ukraine
I see. How would you rephrase it to make it natural?
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
That's what 1 does. 2. doesn't have a meaning.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
No. He agreed with me.
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
We agree that sentence 2 is not good English, and that 1 is. I’d hesitate to called 2 grammatical though. If Mike thinks 2 has a clear meaning, I’d disagree with that. I think ‘for’ may be a typo of ‘from’ – ‘from their first time’. In fact, that would be as good as 1, perhaps better.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Mike didn't say that. The words fit English grammar.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
Is it OK to say 'Most animals can swim when they go into water for the first time'?

Not a teacher.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Yes, Matthew.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top