a / the second of the game

Akatsukis170

Senior Member
Japanese
I found this sentence on Chelsea Twitter and the writer said: There is a second goal of the game. Book says that "second" is used with a definite article. I'm little doubful by this book of mine. So, which one would be correct?

There is a second goal of the game or there is the second goal of the game.
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "A second goal" would work where no second goal has yet been scored, eg "They're leading 1-0, but they really need a second goal." If they then go 2-0 up, we talk about "the second goal", using the definite article, because it's now a fact: definite and real. You can't make a comparison with a fraction like "a third" because fractions behave differently.
     

    Akatsukis170

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Yes. A second goal that could be scored would surely be one goal and not many. Whilst "a" means one of many. How is this? Does the "a" mean "one" in this case?
     
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