Unit 0

Ordinal numbers



Numbers [números] can be represented by digits or words and generally express quantity (cardinal numbers) or order in a sequence (ordinal numbers).

Ordinal numbers [números ordinales] express order in a sequence.


Ordinal numbers agree with the noun they accompany not only in gender but also in number. They can be placed before or after a noun when they are assimilated to qualifying adjectives; in this case, they have the function of a determiner.

The first ten ordinal numbers in both genders and numbers, together with their abbreviations, are:

Abreviatura de masculino Número en masculino (singular/plural)
1.o /os primero/primeros
2.o/os segundo/segundos
3.o/os tercero/terceros
4.o/os cuarto/cuartos
5.o/os quinto/quintos
6.o/os sexto/sextos
7.o/os  séptimo/séptimos
8.o/os octavo/octavos
9.o/os noveno/novenos
10.o/os décimo/décimos
Abreviatura de femenino Número en femenino (singular/plural)
1.a/as primera/primeras
2.a/as segunda/segundas
3.a/as tercera/terceras
4.a/as cuarta/cuartas
5.a/as quinta/quintas
6.a/as sexta/sextas
7.a/as séptima/séptimas
8.a/as octava/octavas
9.a/as novena/novenas
10.a/as décima/décimas

NOTE: The ordinal numbers primero and tercero appear in their apocopated form primer (abbreviated 1.er) and tercer (3.er) before masculine nouns in the singular.


  • Este es mi segundo coche;
  • Tu bebé es el octavo que nace hoy;
  • Ella ha cumplido su décimo cumpleaños;
  • Es el séptimo día de agosto;
  • A ver qué echan en la sexta cadena;
  • La historia comenzó el primer año después de Cristo.


{See Ordinal numbers, level A1}


Ordinal numbers express an order, a sequence. In Spanish, they can come before or after the noun and agree with it.

For example:
— «Lucas es mi primer hijo» = 1st masculine singular; 
— «Ella es mi segunda hija» = 2nd femenine singular; 
— «Los gemelos son sus primeros hijos» = 1st masculine plural.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.


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