What I'm trying to say:

"Look carefully at the second second of the video."

This might be grammatically correct but it's weird to use. What are some better ways to say it?


  • The sentence is a comment on a website.
  • The video is around ten seconds.
  • The time should be precise.
  • The video doesn't have a time info as it plays if the viewer is not a power user.

closed as too broad by tchrist Apr 2 '17 at 22:09

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I don't know of a better way to say it. Writing it, you could use 2nd second instead. – Davo Apr 2 '17 at 21:00
  • You could say "Look at second number two of the video." – michael.hor257k Apr 2 '17 at 21:07
  • I think I'd probably say "Look at the start of the video". Can a viewer be so precise as to observe a discrete second, such as the second second? – WS2 Apr 2 '17 at 21:42
  • 3
    If the video is less than an hour, times are displayed as 00:00. I'd say "The film clip is at 00:01-00:02, just a second long and beginning one second into the video. You can leave off the leading 0. – Xanne Apr 2 '17 at 22:15
  • This sort of thing happens a lot in English. If you think that that is a problem, take it up with Noah Webster & WhateverHisName Oxford. – Hot Licks Apr 3 '17 at 0:33

In writing, you can take advantage of the differences in writing the two:

Look at the 2nd second of the video.

Look at the second sec. of the video.

Look at second #2 of the video.

If, in context, you have reason to refer to "the first second" (which only seems weird if you stare at it, and pretty much anything does that), you can follow with

Then, look at the next second of the video.

But in general I think "the second second" is fine. Especially in speaking rather than writing:

Look at the second second of the video

has a stress and tonal pattern on the first syllable of the first "second" that makes it quite clear.

It may look weird but sometimes the weird way is still the best way to write something — like some cases of "had had" or "that that".

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