Top ten teams or the ten top teams of the football league.
Which of the above phrases is correct? Are they both correct?
Teams in a football league are usually ranked in order. The top ten teams are the ones ranked from number one through number ten. Notice that the specific article is used here.
If you were instead talking about teams in many leagues, such as high school football leagues, you could talk about ten top teams. In this sense, each of the ten is a top team in its own league. There are more than ten leagues. You happen to be talking about ten of the top teams when you refer to ten top teams. Notice there is no specific article used here.
|link comment||answered Jun 22 '13 at 11:06 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
Further to Patty's answer, top-ten teams is a journalistic expression that would be employed when describing those sides that have been consistently in the upper half of a 20-team league over a period of time. More often, though, the number is smaller, as in a top-three team. In Britain, Chelsea and the Manchester United teams currently fall into this category. (Sorry if I have upset any Arsenal fans out there!)
|link comment||answered Jun 22 '13 at 11:37 Michael Cranfield Expert|
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