Spanish ordinal numbers
Ordinal numbers (números ordinales) tell the position of something in a list.
They are used both as adjectives and pronouns. If they are placed before a noun, they serve as adjectives.
Es la quinta vez que llamo a Sandra. (This is the fifth time I am calling Sandra.)
The ordinal numbers from 11th on are seldom used. For larger numbers, it is common to use the cardinal number.
Nacimos en el siglo veinte VS We were born in the twentieth century
How to form ordinal numbers
The ordinal numbers from first (primero) to tenth (décimo) have unique forms and are used to form most of the other ordinal numbers.
To form ordinal numbers between 20 and 99, use the following formula:
base number (divisible by 10) + ordinal number between primero (first) and noveno (ninth)
Fifty-fifth: quincuagésimo (base number) + quinto (ordinal number)
To form ordinal numbers between 101 and 999, write out each successive ordinal number as a separate word.
Three hundred forty-second: tricentésimo + cuadragésimo + segundo
Spanish ordinal numbers 1-100
|Number||Ordinal Number||English translation|
Spanish ordinal numbers above 100
|Number||Ordinal number||English translation|
|101||centésimo primero||one hundredth first|
Gender and number
Unlike cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers match the noun they precede in both gender and number.
- Es el segundo coche que he comprado este año. (This is the second car I have bought this year.)
- Rafael vive en la segunda planta. (Rafael lives on the second floor.)
- En los primeros días de febrero, se fueron a Cuba. (On the first days of February, they went to Cuba.)
When primero and tercero occur before a masculine noun, they drop the -o.
- Ángel fue mi primer amor. (Ángel was my first love.)
- Los Cuesta viven en el tercer piso. (The Cuestas live on the third floor.)
Ordinal numbers generally occur before the nouns they modify.
However, the ordinal number comes after the noun in following cases:
- a member of the royalty
- a pope
- a street name
- Juan Carlos Primero (Juan Carlos the First)
- Juan Pablo Segundo (Pope John Paul the Second)
If cardinal and ordinal numbers appear together, the cardinal number is placed before the ordinal number.
Me encantan los dos primeros capítulos de esta novela. (I like the first two chapters of this novel.)
Ordinal numbers can also be written using a superscripted o (masculine) or a (feminine).
|Masculine||Primero capítulo||1° capítulo||1st chapter|
|Feminine||Décima página||10a página||10th page|
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