Unit 7.2

# Ordinal Numbers

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## Introduction

Ordinal numbers express numerical sequences, positioning elements in a list.

## Form

Ordinal numbers are usually preceded by the definite article the and they are usually placed after the verb.

Ordinal numbers are made by adding -th* to the cardinal numbers (1 – 10):

• 1st* – First
• 2nd* – Second
• 3rd* – Third
• 4thFourth
• 5th* – Fifth
• 6thSixth
• 7thSeventh
• 8th* – Eighth
• 9th* – Ninth
• 10thTenth

*The exceptions (also twelve = twelfth).

## Example

• He was the first on the list. / He was the 1st on the list.
• It’s my second time in Sweden. / It’s my 2nd time in Sweden.
• I want the third cake. / I want the 3rd cake.
• She is the fifth child in a family of eleven. / She is the 5th child in a family of eleven.
• Today is my child’s eighth birthday. / Today is my child’s 8th birthday
• This is the ninth book I’ve read. / This is the 9th book I’ve read
• My office is on the tenth floor. / My office is on the 10th floor

## Use

We use ordinal numbers to express the position of something in a sequence. Unlike cardinal numbers, which are used to express the quantity of something.

## Summary

Ordinal numbers are used to position elements in a sequential order.

Ordinal numbers are made by adding -th to the cardinal numbers: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth.

For example:
— “It’s my fifth time in Spain.” = This is the current number of times I have visited Spain and I am there now (fifth = ordinal number).
♦ “I’ve been to Spain five times.” = The total number of times I visited Spain and I am not there anymore (five = cardinal number).

NOTE: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9 and 12 are exceptions (as their ordinal numbers don’t follow the general formation rule: first, second, third, fiftheighth, ninth and twelfth).

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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