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ordinal number

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

ordinal number

Postby hanuman_2000 » Mon Oct 25, 2004 4:32 am

Sir,

somewhere I read that The article "the" is used with ordinal number e.g
1. He got the first prize.

but the same time I read


He stood first in the class.

Why a article "the" has not been used with "first".

I mean why not like

He stood the first in the class.

Thanks.
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Postby Alan » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:25 am

There is no rule that an ordinal number must always be preceded by 'the', although that does happen most of the time. In expressions such as 'he was first, she was second' (for giving the order of results,rank, etc.) etc. it is often omitted.
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