# "a fourth/third time" or "the fourth/third time"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by changwecanbelievein, Nov 28, 2012.

1. ### changwecanbelieveinSenior Member

Mainland China
Chinese
Examples:

1 He has tried three times and he wants to try a fourth time.
2 He has tried three times and he wants to try the fourth time.

3 He has tried twice and he wants to try a third time.
4 He has tried twice and he wants to try the third time.
5 He has tried once and he wants to try a second time.
6 He has tried once and he wants to try the second time.

Could you tell me which ones are correct besides No.5? Only No.5 I'm sure it's correct because "a second"="again". Thanks！

Penang
American English
If you're sure that 5 is correct, why would you think that 1 and 3 might not be?

You've given us no idea of your thought process or your specific concern(s). Until you do, it's just proofreading – which we don't do.

3. ### changwecanbelieveinSenior Member

Mainland China
Chinese
Thanks for concern.

It's not proofreading but my thoughts. My problem is I don't know whether 1,2,3,4.6 are correct, especially 2,4,6. I don't know whether there is a usage such "a second=agian" here.
I've said what I know. Now I am asking what I don't know.

4. ### Franco-fillySenior Member

Southern England
English - Southern England
1, 3 and5 are correct - using "a". "A xx time" means "again" in all the sentences.

You could use "the" to refer to a specific attempt once it had taken place. i.e. He tried three times without success but succeeded at the fourth attempt.

Penang
American English

You say here that "I don't know whether there is a usage such "a second=agian" here."

But in your original post, you say that "I'm sure it's correct because "a second"="again"."

These opposite statements have made understanding any question you may have very confusing.

6. ### changwecanbelieveinSenior Member

Mainland China
Chinese
Okay...

There is something contradictory that I haven't noticed in my speech, but believe me that I haven't tried to ask for help about proofreading. I know the gudielines clearly.

7. ### changwecanbelieveinSenior Member

Mainland China
Chinese
After reading your explanations and example now I know the difference. Thanks a second time

8. ### screenactorsguildSenior Member

Vietnam
Vietnamese
" I have asked him twice. Shall I ask him ...........(the third, third , one third , a third) time?
I chose the first one => wrong as my teacher's opinion
=> a third time
=> why?

9. ### Franco-fillySenior Member

Southern England
English - Southern England
You do something once and then you can do it a second time, a third time,....a hundredth time!
I think we use "the" when speaking of a particular instance, for example "I kept repeating it and on the third time he heard me properly"