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place vs rank Options
robjen
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 4:17:07 PM
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(1) Tom placed third in the last track and field competition.

(2) Tom ranked third in the last track and field competition.

What is the difference in meaning between "placed" and "ranked" in these sentences? Thanks a lot.
thar
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 5:03:11 PM

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You place third in a race. You take third place.

Your rank third in the table. Some ranking system of a combination of races or competitions thoughout a meeting or season.
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 5:13:01 PM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
robjen wrote:
(1) Tom placed third in the last track and field competition.

(2) Tom ranked third in the last track and field competition.

What is the difference in meaning between "placed" and "ranked" in these sentences? Thanks a lot.

It depends upon context. In general, in isolation, these two statements might mean the same thing.

A track and field competition involves many different events, so the total placement or ranking would be a combination of all scores in all events. You would commonly use "placed" to refer to standing in an one event: long jump, shot put, 100 meter dash, etc. You might then be more likely to use "ranked" to refer to the over-all score of all events.

Conversely, one might speak of placement within one meet, and use rank when speaking of overall placement/rank for the season (or season so far, if it is not yet complete). Thus, Tom might have placed third (overall) in the just completed meet, yet rank fifth when looking at the season's standings. Note the difference in verb tenses: he placed third in the meet. The meet is over and done; the verb is in past tense. He ranks (present tense) fifth in standing for the season, either if the season is still ongoing or if it has ended. If it has ended, this is the rank he will hold until next season's competitions.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 2:55:17 AM

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Wow!
Not a thing I would ever have thought of. Thanks thar and Ruth. They sound rather 'sports commentator' or 'newspaper' language to me.

To me, a person would come third in a race and be third in a match consisting of several games.

John came first in the 400 metres and won the gold medal.
Manchester United were second in the league last year.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 3:18:11 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 18,445
Neurons: 74,837
Well, I answered the question as it was asked, but I wouldn't use either of them for athletic competition, either.

Place - I wouldn't use, but it would feel OK for a horse-race you don't win.

rank - this is more of a value judgement. So for instance you have tennis rankings that take into account how you have done in certain tournaments the previous year.
Or 'X is ranked the number two team in college football' - where they don't all play each other in a league, so it is ranking by vote, I believe. Or if not, then by some arbitrary algorithm.
RuthP
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 11:53:09 AM

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Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,313
Neurons: 70,451
Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Wow!
Not a thing I would ever have thought of. Thanks thar and Ruth. They sound rather 'sports commentator' or 'newspaper' language to me.

To me, a person would come third in a race and be third in a match consisting of several games.

John came first in the 400 metres and won the gold medal.
Manchester United were second in the league last year.

Now that's a definite difference. In AE you could say the same thing, but we move the preposition in the first case:
Jane came in first in the marathon. The second, however, works the same: She was third overall.
We can also say Jane was first in the marathon, but came in third overall.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2019 12:14:25 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 31,029
Neurons: 185,554
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
That's true - "came in first" is quite common.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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