Spanish ordinal numbers
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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.
Example:
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.
Example:
Nacimos en el siglo veinte VS We were born in the twentieth century
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)
Example:
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.
Example:
Three hundred forty-second: tricentésimo + cuadragésimo + segundo
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Number | Ordinal Number | English translation |
---|---|---|
1 | primero | first |
2 | segundo | second |
3 | tercero | third |
4 | cuarto | fourth |
5 | quinto | fifth |
6 | sexto | sixth |
7 | séptimo | seventh |
8 | octavo | eighth |
9 | noveno | ninth |
10 | décimo | tenth |
11 |
undécimo decimoprimero |
eleventh |
12 |
duodécimo decimosegundo |
twelfth |
13 | decimotercero | thirteenth |
14 | decimocuarto | fourteenth |
15 | decimoquinto | fifteenth |
16 | decimosexto | sixteenth |
17 | decimoséptimo | seventeenth |
18 | decimoctavo | eighteenth |
19 | decimonoveno | nineteenth |
20 | vigésimo | twentieth |
21 | vigésimo primero | twenty-first |
30 | trigésimo | thirtieth |
40 | cuadragésimo | fortieth |
50 | quincuagésimo | fiftieth |
60 | sexagésimo | sixtieth |
70 | septuagésimo | seventieth |
80 | octogésimo | eightieth |
90 | nonagésimo | ninetieth |
100 | centésimo | one hundredth |
Number | Ordinal number | English translation |
---|---|---|
101 | centésimo primero | one hundredth first |
200 | ducentésimo | two hundredth |
300 | tricentésimo | three hundredth |
400 | cuadrigentésimo | four hundredth |
500 | quingentésimo | five hundredth |
600 | sexcentésimo | six hundredth |
700 | septigéntesimo | seven hundredth |
800 | octingentésimo | eight hundredth |
900 | nonigentésimo | nine hundredth |
1000 | milésimo | one thousandth |
2000 | dosmilésimo | two thousandth |
3000 | tresmilésimo | three thousandth |
4000 | cuatromilésimo | four thousandth |
5000 | cincomilésimo | five thousandth |
6000 | seismilésimo | six thousandth |
7000 | sietemilésimo | seven thousandth |
8000 | ochomilésimo | eight thousandth |
9000 | nuevemilésimo | nine thousandth |
10,000 | diezmilésimo | ten thousandth |
1,000,000 | millonésimo | one millionth |
Unlike cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers match the noun they precede in both gender and number.
Masculine | Feminine | |
---|---|---|
Singular | primero | primera |
Plural | primeros | primeras |
Examples:
When primero and tercero occur before a masculine noun, they drop the -o.
Examples:
Ordinal numbers generally occur before the nouns they modify.
However, the ordinal number comes after the noun in following cases:
Example:
If cardinal and ordinal numbers appear together, the cardinal number is placed before the ordinal number.
Example:
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).
Long form | Abbreviation | English | |
---|---|---|---|
Masculine | Primero capítulo | 1° capítulo | 1st chapter |
Feminine | Décima página | 10a página | 10th page |
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