(the) ninth son...

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westwind

Senior Member
Chinese
The following excerpt is from a book titled Selected Tang Dynasty Stories.

Wei Yin, ninth son of the daughter of the Prince of Xinan, was a somewaht wild young lord and a heavy drinker.His cousin's husband, Zheng, whose personal name was not known but who was the sixth child of his family,had...

My question is: why there is a "the" before the "sixth" while no "the" before the "ninth?"
Did the writer make a mistake?
Please shed light. Thanks in advance!
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    No, it isn't a mistake. In the second instance, the article is required because child is a countablenoun. In the first instance, it is possible to omit the article, because it functions a little like a name.

    Have a look at this thread too:
    ordinal numbers without article
     
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