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Anonymous:I am writing multiple paragraphs listing reasons why I should not buy a house. So I start off with first, second, etc etc
Is it more correct to use firstly, secondly, thirdly?
Approved answer (verified by Ruslana)
This is the Random House usage note:
It is well established that either first or firstly can be used to begin an enumeration: Our objectives are, first (or firstly), to recover from last year's slump. Any succeeding items should be introduced by words parallel to the form that is chosen, as in first . . . second . . . third or firstly . . . secondly . . . thirdly.
Use first, first of all, or firstly to introduce the first item in a list of two or more points, instructions etc • First, make sure the screws are securely fixed in position. Then attach the wire.
According to American Heritage:
It is well established that either first or firstly can be used to begin an enumeration: Our objectives are, first (or firstly), to recover from last year's slump.
I think it is gramatically okay to use either one, but I remember that my supervisor corrected my usage of "first" to "firstly."
I am not a native speaker of English. Therefore, the above is just for your reference and I hope that native speakers will answer your question.
She was half-British-half-Canadian.
The following is from 'The Right Word and the Right Time'. I hope you will find the information useful.
There is a traditional rule that when several items or points are being listed one by one, they should be introduced by the words first, secondly, thirdly ... (and also last rather than lastly).
There might once have been a good reason for discouraging firstly, secondly, thirty, and all the rest, leaving first, second, third, and so on unchallenged. But there cannot be any good reason for the present rule, which discourages only firstly, and there is a very good reason against it: that it creates a needless inconsistency. (Some people restore the inconsistency by reverting to second and third as well as first, rather than secondly and thirdly. There seems to be no objection to this, though it might sound slightly stiff.)
To detail /depict a sequence of events, I would use words like; “first”, “firstly” “first of all” and secondly, thirdly, additionally, eventually, subsequently, finally, and so on.
<<< It is well established that either first or firstly can be used to begin an enumeration: Among Our objectives, we must first .....,....to recover from last year's slump. >>>
Anonymous:I'd say firstly, secondly and thirdly.
Anonymous:In American English, it is more typical to use "first," "second," "third," etc.
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