I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was:

We are working together to see India become a top three trading partner for Australia by 2035.

Shouldn't there be "one of top three" or "top third" instead of "a top three" in the sentence?


The meaning of "a top three partner" is indeed "one of the top three partners". But the second way is longer, and the trend in the English language is to use as few words as possible, conveying the same meaning.

"Top third" is definitely not usable. It might mean that, if you have 90 partners, India will be in the top 30 (= 90 / 3). But even with this meaning, "top third" is a no-go.

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