"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!
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.
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).