I managed to pass my driving test first time.

Krybro

Senior Member
Polish
"I managed to pass my driving test first time." It is a sentence from the New Gold Proficiency coursebook.
Why isn't there THE first time? I would definitely use the article, yet there is probably a reason why it has been omitted. Thanks! :)
 
  • Szkot

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In Google the longer phrase passed my test first time outscores passed my test the first time 10 to 1, so the form in your course book is undoubtedly common in colloquial English.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Not all dictionaries can be relied upon to provide good examples. The "reason" in this case probably is that the writer had that relatively obscure way of speaking and there was no quality control.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    In British English I think "I passed first time" is how a lot of people would say this. On the other hand I would say "I passed my test the first time I took it."

    If I didn't pass first time I would say "I passed the second time though." So I'm thinking "I passed the test first time" is an idiom that we can use for the first time - but not for any subsequent tries.
     

    Szkot

    Senior Member
    UK English
    So I'm thinking "I passed the test first time" is an idiom that we can use for the first time - but not for any subsequent tries.
    Not so sure about that - Google has plenty examples without the. There is also the phrase second time round which can omit the.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Google's examples don't tell you what's either correct or idiomatic, only what has been said somewhere on the internet (which is often repeating what someone else has said).

    Here, we'd say "the first time".
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I would instinctively say "I passed my driving test first time" (no "the"). Saying "the first time" makes it sound to me as though I took it more than once.

    A similar but perhaps more obvious example >> Imagine I'm playing darts. I get a bull with my first dart: I say "
    Hey! I got a bull first time!" (I wouldn't say "the first time"). Now I throw a second dart, and it goes horribly wide: I say "I don't believe it. I got a bull the first time!" (the first time of the two times I've thrown).
    [...] On the other hand I would say "I passed my test the first time I took it." [...]
    ... which would definitely tempt me to ask you how many times you took it, veli ... and why you'd take it more than once if you passed (the) first time.:p

    Ws
    :)
     
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