first prize/the first prize

Discussie in 'English Only' gestart door Wishfull, 5 jul 2010.

  1. Wishfull Senior Member

    I checked three previous threads which contains "first prize", but I think I should make a new thread, because the question is somewhat different.
    (I don't mind to combine this thread to one of those. :) )

    Have you bought a new car?
    No. I got this car as first prize in the tennis match.

    I wonder why the word "first prize" is often used without a definite article;"the".

    Do you know why?
  2. soccergal Senior Member

    English - US
    The first prize would indicate the order in which the prizes were given. First prize (no definite article) denotes the top prize. Like a gold medal, it is usually the last prize awarded.
  3. Wishfull Senior Member


    Thank you, I understand your explanation.

    A) Have you bought a new car?
    B) No. I got this car as first prize in the tennis match.
    A) Do you mean Wimbledon Open held in last week?
    B) Yes.
    A) Did you win the first prize? I can't believe it. You mean you're the champion of Wimbledon Open?
    B) Yes.
    A) Unbelievable! Are you Nadal?
    B) Yes.

    Sorry for my very, very poor context.
    But is "the" necessary at underlined part?
  4. soccergal Senior Member

    English - US
    No, "the" is not necessary. Actually, this whole sentence is unnecessary, because he already told you he won first prize. You could say: You won first prize! as an exclamation. That would work well in this context.
  5. Wishfull Senior Member

    I got it. Thank you, soccergal
  6. brian&me

    brian&me Senior Member

    Chinese - China
    But I read a sentence in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Edition 5th as follows:

    The first prize has gone to Dr John Gentle.

    I wonder what “the first prize” means in this sentence.


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