tell me the difference between the first and second chapters and the first and the second chapter
Style is the only difference between the two. Either way is grammatically correct in any instance; however, you may wish to use one or the other depending on context. The first method suggests that the chapters agree or go together somehow. Such as:
The first and second chapters contain background information on the diabolical history of wild ducks in Saskatchewan.
The second method might suggest the differences between the chapters rather than their similarities. Like this:
The first chapter and the second chapter, written from the perspectives of the two main protagonists, disagree on the fundamental nature of the universe in general and the nature of wild ducks in particular.
--- Having written all this, I just realized that I didn't quite read your question correctly. You wrote "the first and the second chapter", not "the first chapter and the second chapter". In this case, I believe "the first and the second chapter" is wrong and you need to make "chapter" plural. I could be mistaken.
|link comment||answered Sep 15 '12 at 15:59 mysticete Contributor|
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