This might be a silly question, but here I go. If there are ten girls and each of the girls are given a number, then how to call the girl with number 4?

Can I say 'the girl number four' or 'Girl number four'? I was watching a video, and the person was calling guys as 'guy number four' and not 'the guy number four'. So I am a bit confused.

  • 5
    I can verify that "girl number four" is correct, and "the girl number four" is incorrect. As for the reason, my feeling is there's no "the" because "girl number four" acts as her name, and we don't use "the" in front of names. To use "the", a correctly-formed noun clause would be required, like, "the girl with the number four". This contrast supports my belief that "girl number four" is a name, but doesn't prove it.
    – gotube
    Sep 22, 2021 at 6:32
  • This doesn't explain whether an article should be used or not, but it does explain the structure of a noun followed by a number, and provides further examples. ell.stackexchange.com/questions/84188/…
    – JavaLatte
    Sep 22, 2021 at 7:38
  • A common example of this is in Post Offices, shops, and other retail establishments where multiple registers are fed from a single queue of people. When a register becomes free, you'll often hear a recorded (and inappropriately-cheerful) message: “Cashier number 4, please!”… “Cashier number 7, please!”… “Cashier number 2, please!”
    – gidds
    Dec 6, 2021 at 23:39

2 Answers 2


The definite article 'the' is a way of singling out someone or something specific. Designating a number to someone is another way of identifying someone, so to use both is incorrect.

  • The fun fact is that ‘each bee is eating a specific apple’ means ‘each bee is at least one apple’ but ‘each bee is eating the apple’ means ‘each bee is only one apple.’ When I figured this out, I found out that how important the definite article is. That’s really a good key to express what we are really talking about. As a leaner whose native language has no definite article, I got to know how English becomes the most used language.
    – user284747
    Dec 6, 2021 at 9:47

‘girl number 4’ is the correct one whereas ‘the girl number 4’ is the incorrect one.

This is an exception from the normal articles question. Although the ‘girl’ is a noun and it requires an article, you can’t write ‘the girl number 4’ since there is only one.

So, the correct answer:

Girl number 4(or four if you wish to write out in words)

  • Hello, I have a question. Why is it correct to say 'The movie lion' and not 'movie lion'? Nov 13, 2021 at 3:12

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