## Ordinal Numbers in English (Basic, A-Level)

In this lesson, you will learn the ordinal numbers in English.

Ordinal numbers are the numbers you use to order people and things: first, second, third, fourth, and so forth.

**Prerequisite:** To understand this lesson, you need to know the cardinal numbers in English.

### What Are Ordinal Numbers?

Ordinal numbers give you the position or place among people or things.

For example, in a marathon, let’s say that people arrive in this order: Jack, Maria, Pedro, Edward, and Albert.

Jack arrives **first**, so he is the winner.

Maria is in **second** place.

Pedro is **the third** runner to arrive.

Edward is in **fourth** place.

Albert is **the fourth** to arrive.

### Some changes in ordinal numbers

Some cardinal change when they become ordinal numbers:

one > **first** (1st)

two > **second** (2nd)

three > **third** (3rd)

fi**ve** > **fif**th (5th)

eight > **eigh**th (8th) *(only one T)*

nin**e** > **nin**th (9th) *(no E)*

twel**ve** > twel**f**th (12th) *(V becomes F)*

For all the 10s (ending in -ty), the Y changes to IE:

twent**y** > twent**ie**th (20th)

thirt**y** > thirt**ie**th (30th)

fort**y** > fort**ie**th (40th)

and so on…

### The -th pattern

For all other numbers, add **-th** to the cardinal number to make it an ordinal number. There are some spelling and pronunciation changes you should notice:

- “Eight” becomes “eighth" (only one T).
- “Nine” becomes “ninth” (drop the E).
- ”Twelve” becomes “twelfth” (VE changes to F). The pronunciation also changes from /v/ to /f/.
- In numbers ending in “-ty,” the Y changes to IE such as twent
**ie**th, thirt**ie**th, fort**ie**th, and so forth. The pronunciation also changes to /-tiəθ/ (e.g., 20th /ˈtwentiəθ/, 30th /ˈθɚtijəθ/, 40th /ˈfɔːrtiəθ/).

#### Examples

four > four

six > six

seven >

eight > eigh**th**

nine > nine**th**

ten > ten**th**

eleven > eleven**th**

twelve > twelf**th**

fifteen > fifteen**th**

sixteen > sixteen**th**

#### Always look at the Last Number

Notice that only the last number changes to its ordinal form.

112 > one hundred twelf**th**

601 > six hundred **first**

1,432 > one thousand four hundred thirty **second**.

1,000,000 > one million**th**

1,007,024 > one million seven thousand twenty-**fourth**

### Abbreviations

To abbreviate ordinals, add the last two letters of the ordinal number.

first - 1st

second - 2nd

third - 3rd

fourth - 4th

fifth - 5th

and so on…

#### Be Careful

Be careful to add the correct abbreviation based on the **last number**.

101st (one hundred **first**)

102nd (one hundred **second**)

1,003rd (one thousand **third**)

1,004th (one thousand **fourth**)

1,000,000th (one **millionth**)

1,000,001st (one million **first**)

#### Don’t make this mistake!

Most ordinal numbers end in TH, so it is a common mistake to add a TH to any number. You end up with, for example, **31th**, which is **wrong**!

Remember, you must look at the last number. “Thirty-one” becomes “thirty-**first**, so the abbreviation is **31 st**.

### Practice

Practice 1. Practice writing ordinal numbers in sentences.

Practice 2. Practice writing ordinal numbers in sentences.

### Congratulations on completing this lesson!

#### Thanks to our supporters!

This material has been made possible by supporters like you. Learn how you can support us.

#### “What should I learn next?”

Learn fractions or use the navigation buttons to choose another lesson or skill.

#### Thank you for Supporting Snap Language

Snap Language supporters make the creation of these materials possible.

Learn how you can support our work, get perks, and help us continue creating high-quality materials.

You can support us by simply white-listing this site.