Unit 7.1

Ordinal numbers


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


Ordinal numbers are made by adding -th* to the cardinal numbers (1 – 10) except in some occassions marked:

  • 1st* – First
  • 2nd* – Second
  • 3rd* – Third
  • 4th – Fourth
  • 5th* – Fifth
  • 6th – Sixth
  • 7th – Seventh
  • 8th* – Eighth
  • 9th* – Ninth
  • 10th – Tenth

*The exceptions (also twelve = twelfth).


  • It’s my second time in Sweden.
  • He was the first on the list.
  • Our house is the fourth on the left.


We use ordinal numbers to show the position of something. They can be placed after the verb or working as a noun when they are only accompanied by the article ‘the’ with no noun after the ordinal number.



Ordinal numbers differ from cardinal numbers as they are used to position elements on a list. 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 that I’m in Spain (fifth = ordinal number).
♦ “I’ve been to Spain five times.” = The total number of times I’m in Spain (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, fifth, eighth, 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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