this is the second time

I'm reading Hamlet for a/second time.I can use either a or the depending on the context. I would use a if the hearer weren't aware of that fact or didn't know exactly how many time I was planning vĩ đại read Hamlet.

But I couldn't find any examples of this is a second time. So it seems This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet would be incorrect. Why?

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I couldn't find any examples of this is a second time. So it seems This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet would be incorrect. Why?

Right. Neither of those are correct.

You have vĩ đại think of the phrase (for) a second time as a complete

adverbial

phrase, basically meaning 'again'. Don't think of a second time as an independent noun phrase.

Even though the preposition for in the phrase for a second time can be omitted, it's still 'there' in a manner of speaking, when it is:

I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
I'm reading Hamlet a second time.

These are the same. The difference is only that the preposition is unarticulated in the latter.

If you insert the omitted preposition in your phrases, you'll see why they're incorrect:

*This is for a second time I'm reading Hamlet.

I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
I'm reading Hamlet a second time.

These are the same. The difference is only that the preposition is unarticulated in the latter.

Really? I always thought for a/the second time and a/the second time mean different things when used at the kết thúc of a sentence:

He succeeded for the second time

tells you that he has succeeded twice, while

He succeeded the second time

indicates that he failed the first time and has only succeeded once.

( https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/187238/do-i-need-any-preposition-in-front-of-the-second-time )


Possible context: Suppose I had a very rare, old and fragile book sánh there was a bunch of people who wanted vĩ đại read it. But I was ready vĩ đại give it only several people. At first, I gave it vĩ đại Bill. John read the book the second time = he was the second man I gave the book (or a second time if the number wasn't specified or was unknown vĩ đại the hearer).

But if we start with it, then This is the second time I'm reading Hamlet = I'm reading hamlet for the second time.

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He succeeded for the second time
tells you that he has succeeded twice, while

He succeeded the second time

indicates that he failed the first time and has only succeeded once.

Yes, that's all correct. But we're talking about the phrase for a second time, with an indefinite article.

I think you're perhaps confusing lots of different phrases. To untangle this, first try vĩ đại separate the definite and indefinite forms (which have different meanings/uses) and then separate by whether it's adverbial or not.

Yes, that's all correct. But we're talking about the phrase for a second time, with an indefinite article.

We're talking about the difference between for a second time and for the second time. And it's quite clear:

He went vĩ đại the supermarket vĩ đại buy bread. He went vĩ đại the supermarket for a second time because he had forgotten the milk.
He went vĩ đại the supermarket twice. The first time he bought bread. He went for the second time because he had forgotten the milk.

...using "a second time" implies that there could be a third or fourth time that follows the second time.
(https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/for-a-the-second-time-vs-the-second-time.2307136/)

The same logic can be applied vĩ đại do smth a second time vs the second time with the meaning I mentioned in the possible context above.

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I don't think that's quite right, but fine. So has your question been answered then?

Not exactly. I only see that when we start a sentence with this is the second time, it can only mean for the second time:

I'm reading Hamlet for the second time = This is the second time I'm reading Hamlet.
I'm reading Hamlet for a second time = This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet (wrong).

I can't say why the latter is wrong.

For u, there is absolutely no difference in meaning between:

1. I'm reading Hamlet for the second time.
2. I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
3. I'm reading Hamlet a second time.

They all mean I've read it from start vĩ đại finish once in the past and I'm now somewhere beyond the start but I haven't reached the kết thúc yet.

You could solve the problem by saying "I've read Hamlet once before. Now I'm reading it again"!

*This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet.

The above sentence is wrong, yes. I tried vĩ đại explain why in post #2 but I'll say it a second time: The phrase (for) a second time is similar vĩ đại 'again'. The reason you can't use it in that sentence is the same reason that you can't use again:

*This is again I'm reading Hamlet.

But, if you vì thế the same simple substitution ((for) a second time / again) in your pair, it works:

I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
I'm reading Hamlet a second time.
I'm reading Hamlet again.

They're the same.

  • #10

For u, there is absolutely no difference in meaning between:

1. I'm reading Hamlet for the second time.
2. I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
3. I'm reading Hamlet a second time.

If these were the same then there were nothing that could prevent you from saying either This is the second time I'm reading Hamlet or This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet. But the thing is that I couldn't find a single example of "this is a second time..."

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  • #11

I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
I'm reading Hamlet a second time.
I'm reading Hamlet again.

They're the same.

I'm reading Hamlet for the second time.
I'm reading Hamlet the second time.
I'm reading Hamlet again.
What's the difference?

You say This is a second time is impossible because of the implied for. But for is also implied in This is (for) the second time, which doesn't make it incorrect.

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The first two tell you how many times you've read it before. The third doesn't. If you just say "I'm reading Hamlet again", for all I know you could have read it 153 times already. The ones with "second time"make it clear you've read it only once before.

We're talking about the difference between for a second time and for the second time. And it's quite clear:

He went vĩ đại the supermarket vĩ đại buy bread. He went vĩ đại the supermarket for a second time because he had forgotten the milk.
He went vĩ đại the supermarket twice. The first time he bought bread. He went for the second time because he had forgotten the milk . . . .

I don't lượt thích for in either.

The difference between a and the is the same as the difference anywhere else. If we already know he went twice, the is right. If we don't, a is right.

The difference between a and the is the same as the difference anywhere else. If we already know he went twice, the is right. If we don't, a is right.

I totally agree. But that doesn't explain why this is the second time... is correct while this is a second time... isn't.

They are the same.

then there were nothing that could prevent you from saying either This is the second time I'm reading Hamlet or This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet.


It's the grammar that's preventing this. I'll say it one more time. When you say a second time, there is an omitted preposition for, sánh that a second time = for a second time, in the adverbial sense of 'again'. The phrase a second time looks lượt thích a noun phrase, but it's actually adverbial.

But the thing is that I couldn't find a single example of "this is a second time..."

That's because it's incorrect, Alexey. People don't say that, because it's wrong. Of course you're not going vĩ đại find examples of something that's ungrammatical. Look:

*This is for a second time I'm reading Hamlet.
*This is again I'm reading Hamlet.

Can you not see how and why those are not possible? Think about the syntax of the sentence. What can you not use after the linking verb is?

You're contradicting yourself Jutfrank: at first, you say they are the same and then you explain for a second time is different from for the second time.
What's the difference? Do you mean for the second time doesn't mean again?

Simple logic: if they are the same, they should be subject vĩ đại the same usage.

But I think I understand what you mean (correct u if I'm wrong): for a second time - an adverbial phrase, while for the second time - a prepositional phrase (for + noun phrase). If sánh, it's very strange that a simple change of the article makes such a difference. Why can't for a second time be a prepositional phrase either, differing from the definite variant only in, well, definiteness?

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I totally agree. But that doesn't explain why this is the second time... is correct while this is a second time... isn't.

No. The example I was commenting on was different.

No. The example I was commenting on was different.

Do you agree the difference between I'm reading Hamlet for a second time and I'm reading Hamlet for the second time can be explained by the logic you applied vĩ đại the supermarket example: "If we already know he went twice, the is right. If we don't, a is right"? So, it's the same difference as between This is the book I wanted vĩ đại give you (I've told you yesterday about it) and This is a book I wanted vĩ đại give you (surprise) => I'm reading Hamlet for a second time (it's a new fact for the hearer) vs I'm reading Hamlet for the second time (the hearer knew I was going vĩ đại read it twice).

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You're contradicting yourself Jutfrank: at first, you say they are the same and then you explain for a second time is different from for the second time.


I'm certainly not contradicting myself. Please point out where you think I'm doing that.

Do you mean for the second time doesn't mean again?


No. I think you're confusing grammatical categories. The phrases the second time and for the second time are not (usually) equivalent grammatically or semantically. Look:

This is the second time I'm reading Hamlet. :tick:
This is for the second time I'm reading Hamlet.
:cross:

See? The second is ungrammatical. Why vì thế you think that is?

I'm reading Hamlet a second time. :tick:
I'm reading Hamlet for a second time. :tick:
I'm reading Hamlet for the second time. :tick:
I'm reading Hamlet again. :tick:

Those are all correct and mean effectively the same thing in this context. But your issue here as I see it is primarily the

grammar, not the meaning.

Simple logic: if they are the same, they should be subject vĩ đại the same usage.


There's a very important difference between meaning and use.

But I think I understand what you mean (correct u if I'm wrong): for a second time - an adverbial phrase, while for the second time - a prepositional phrase (for + noun phrase).


No, they're both preposition phrases and both adverbial. What is not (necessarily) adverbial is the second time and a second time. The preposition for makes a big difference.

If sánh, it's very strange that a simple change of the article makes such a difference. Why can't for a second time be a prepositional phrase either, differing from the definite variant only in, well, definiteness?


I don't follow this. I honestly don't think the way in vĩ đại understanding this is by difference of definiteness. The answer vĩ đại your question about why This is a second time is wrong is vĩ đại vì thế with grammar rules.

I can't think of many other ways vĩ đại repeat what I've already said. One more time:

a second time
the second time

These are

noun phrases

. They may be used

adverbially

. You need vĩ đại ask when they are and when they aren't.

for a second time
for the second time

These are

preposition phrases

. They must be used adverbially.

a second time
for a second time

the second time
for the second time

Despite the difference in sườn, these two phrases can be (though not always) used in the same adverbial way. Because of this, when they are, I think it is reasonable vĩ đại consider that the former is equivalent vĩ đại the latter, but with the preposition unarticulated.

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Do you agree the difference between I'm reading Hamlet for a second time and I'm reading Hamlet for the second time can be explain by the logic you applied vĩ đại the supermarket example: "If we already know he went twice, the is right. If we don't, a is right"?

In the Hamlet example, either word tells us the same thing: You're reading it again.

So, it's the same difference as in This is the book I want vĩ đại give you (I've told you yesterday about it) vs This is a book I want vĩ đại give you (surprise).

Yes. Like the milk example, that's the usual difference between a and the.

On we go!