We use ordinal numbers to say the date or to put things into order.
The Ordinal Numbers
Writing the Ordinal Numbers
To write ordinal numbers we just add th to the number:
- four – fourth
- eleven – eleventh
- one – first
- two – second
- three – third
- five – fifth
- eight – eighth
- nine – ninth
- twelve – twelfth
In larger numbers, we only change the last numeral to an ordinal number:
- 421st = four hundred and twenty-first
- 5,011th = five thousand and eleventh
To turn numerals into ordinal numbers we add the last two letters of the written number to the numeral.
- first = 1st
- second = 2nd
- third = 3rd
- fourth = 4th
- twenty-sixth = 26th
- a/one hundred and first = 101st
Date: We use ordinal numbers to say the date.
- Today is the eleventh of June.
- The concert is on the the seventeenth of January.
Order and lists: We use ordinal numbers to put things in an order or when making lists/enumerations.
- We live on the fifteenth floor.
- First, wash the rice. Second, put it in a saucepan. Third, add water. Fourth, cook for 10 minutes.
Titles: In titles (e.g. kings and queens), ordinal numbers are written as Roman numerals. In Spoken English, we add the definite article before the ordinal number:
- Charles II – Charles the Second
- Edward VI – Edward the Sixth
- Henry VIII – Henry the Eighth