this lecturer is saying

Hello everyone. Welcome to the second lecture for CS230.

is it grammatical and idiomatic to add a "the" before an "ordinal number"?

  • 2
    In that sentence it is. You couldn't say welcome to second lecture - it would have to be welcome to lecture two of CS230.
    – user96060
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 1:14

2 Answers 2


agree with @Minty, this case needs "the" before an "ordinal number", it would have to be welcome to lecture two of CS230.


In the sentence

Welcome to the second lecture for CS230.

the definite article "the" is not only permitted but required. Some other uses also use the definite article, such as:

  • The Fifth Legion was stationed in what is now Germany.
  • The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse is Death.
  • The second book of the Torah is Exodus.
  • The Twentieth volume of O'Brian's series is Blue at the Mizzen.
  • The Fourth of July is a holiday in the united States, while the Fifth of November is celebrated in the United Kingdom.
  • The third chapter of the novel is the most exciting one.
  • I enjoyed the start, but when i reached the fifth chapter, I lost interest.
  • In "Sir Patrick Spens" I clean forgot the twenty-seventh verse, so I sang the forty-second twice as loud and in reverse, and no one noticed.
  • Hownblower's ship The Sutherland was a third-rate.

However some other uses of ordinals do not take articles.

  • Jones has won second place in today's race.
  • Second place goes to Jones.
  • It is good practice to design a database in fifth normal form.
  • Ballet dancers often speak of second and third position.
  • I shifted into third gear.
  • This restaurant is first-rate.

I can't clearly identify a general rule indicating when n article (definite or indefinite) is required, or customary in such uses.

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