A close second

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A close second

Post by Stevenloan » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:53 am

A: What's your favorite coffee chain?
B: I like Starbucks the best, with Dunkin Donuts a close second.

Hi everybody! I say "I like Starbucks the best, with Dunkin Donuts a close second" to mean that "I like both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, but I prefer Starbucks". Is it used correctly in this situation?

Thanks a lot!

StevenLoan
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Re: A close second

Post by tony h » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:34 pm

Whether it is used correctly, and it may be, depends on your opinion of Dunking Doughnuts.

To understand it, it is easier to think of it in competitive terms.


A>1000 B>500, C>450 - A was way ahead of the competition.

A>1000 B>700 C>600 - A won with a comfortable lead.

A>1000 B>900 C>600 - A won with B not far behind.

A>1000 B>970 C>600 - A won with B coming in a close second.

A>1000 B>999 C>600 - A got to the finish first but B was right there with him. There was really nothing in it!
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Re: A close second

Post by Shelley » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:50 pm

Stevenloan, I think you've used the phrase perfectly in your coffee example. Like tony h says, when something beats something else by a very small margin, it's called "a close second." There are bunches of idioms to describe a very close finish between competitors: beaten by a hair/nose; a photo-finish; (one) on the heels of (the other) . . .
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Re: A close second

Post by Stevenloan » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:09 am

tony h and Shelley : Thank you both very much for your help. I really appreciate it.

StevenLoan
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