Bounty Ended with 50 reputation awarded by CowperKettle
3 added 94 characters in body
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Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat. Once that ad hoc coat of varnish has been applied, it can be referred to as "the third coat".

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."

SCENARIO A
Hello, Mr. Jones. I'd like to ask you some questions.
--OK, go right ahead.
Where were you on the night of the 25th at 10PM?
--I was here at home, thinking about "a" and "the".
Are you ready for a second question?
--Yes.

SCENARIO B
Hello, Mr Jones. I'd like to ask you two questions.
--OK, go right ahead.
Where were you on the night of the 25th at 10PM?
--I was here at home, thinking about "a" and "the".
Are you ready for the second question?
--Yes.

Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat. Once that ad hoc coat of varnish has been applied, it can be referred to as "the third coat".

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."

Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat. Once that ad hoc coat of varnish has been applied, it can be referred to as "the third coat".

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."

SCENARIO A
Hello, Mr. Jones. I'd like to ask you some questions.
--OK, go right ahead.
Where were you on the night of the 25th at 10PM?
--I was here at home, thinking about "a" and "the".
Are you ready for a second question?
--Yes.

SCENARIO B
Hello, Mr Jones. I'd like to ask you two questions.
--OK, go right ahead.
Where were you on the night of the 25th at 10PM?
--I was here at home, thinking about "a" and "the".
Are you ready for the second question?
--Yes.

2 added 94 characters in body
source | link

Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat. Once that ad hoc coat of varnish has been applied, it can be referred to as "the third coat".

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."

Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat.

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."

Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat. Once that ad hoc coat of varnish has been applied, it can be referred to as "the third coat".

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."

1
source | link

Until another member is added to the group, there is no third member; thus "the third member" would be premature. Only once the group contains three members can one refer to "the third member".

Compare: I'd like to add a third coat of varnish. One could say "I'd like to add the third coat of varnish" if one had been planned from the get-go. But an ad hoc third coat would be called "a" third coat.

On that logic, if it had been stipulated somewhere that the group must be comprised of three members, then one could say "he was asked to become the third member."