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Let's say, if there were 4 cities, A, B, C and D

  • 1,000 people live in city A.
  • 2,000 people live in city B.
  • 3,000 people live in city C.
  • 4,000 people live in city D.

- The second largest number of people lives in city C.

The sentence above would be considered fine.



What if there were only 3 cities, A, B, and C, where now we could use the word "intermediate".

  • 1,000 people live in city A.
  • 2,000 people live in city B.
  • 3,000 people live in city C.

1) The second largest number of people lives in city B. OR

2) The intermediate number of people lives in city B.

So the question is: which one is better?

Or if there's a better way to express the intention, please suggest it.

Thanks :)

0

Second largest works, but the phrase that first came to mind for me when I read your question was, next to largest. I think I'd use that in this case.
Intermediate feels more like a word that is used in context of form or phase or state. I don't think I'd prefer it when describing something as static as numbers

  • Thank you, I really appreciate your answer, but I'm not a native speaker, and l'm not sure how to use it. Can you show me some examples for the phrase "next to largest" please? – hbtpoprock Oct 16 '18 at 11:42
  • 1
    One example can be formed from your question itself: "In which city do the next to largest number of people live?" – Bumble Bee Nov 3 '18 at 1:23

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