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The May 1, 2013, edition of the Ames Sentinel arrived in June.

The Ames Sentinel—dated May 1, 2013—arrived in June.

Could you explain to me the presence of the definite article in the first sentence ("The May"). I was thought the rule that the zero article is used when the number in function of adjective comes after the noun, e.g. World War 2 or page 25.

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    The noun which The determines is edition. – StoneyB Oct 17 '15 at 12:47
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It's an ordinal. "The fifth person in line." The particular day in a series of days. It is spoken "The May first edition" or "The May tenth edition" or "The May twenty-third edition..."

  • The comment of StoneyB is the necessary and sufficient answer to the question. This answer is nonsense. – Ast Pace Oct 21 '15 at 6:03
  • @AST Pace: I believed OP's confusion had arisen from his reading the date as "May one" (as in WWII) rather than "May first", so I explained that "May 1" represents an ordinal (modifying edition). That is not to disagree with StoneyB's comment that "edition" is the noun determined. He sought to clear up the OP's confusion in one way, and I in another. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 21 '15 at 12:06

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