Ordinal Numbers

Números ordinales

Spanish ordinal numbers
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Ordinal numbers are essential for lists: they denote the rank, position, or order of items in a group, whether that group is made up of people, objects, or things to do.

Por ejemplo…

Pablo está en segundo lugar, y David en quinto. Pablo is in second place, and David is in fifth.
En primer lugar, tenemos que elegir un presidente. In the first place, we need to choose a chairperson.

Spanish ordinal numbers

first primero
primer
1st
second segundo2nd
third tercero
tercer
3rd
fourth cuarto4th
fifth quinto5th
sixth sexto6th
seventh  séptimo7th
eighth octavo8th
ninth noveno9th
tenth décimo10th 10º

 Notes

When primero and tercero precede a masculine noun, they change to the short-form adjectives primer and tercer.

Por ejemplo…

José está en segundo lugar y Alberto está en quinto. José is in second place and Alberto is in fifth.
En primer lugar, tenemos que elegir un presidente. In the first place, The first thing we need to do is choose a chairperson.

All Spanish ordinal numbers have feminine forms – just change the o to a: la segunda , la séptima

The ordinal numbers up to tenth usually precede the noun. After tenth, however, ordinal numbers are commonly expressed with just the cardinal number after the noun:

el segundo piso the second floor
el piso veinte the twentieth floor

 Most ordinal numbers are identical to their corresponding fractions.

 If you have trouble remembering the difference between ordinal and cardinal numbers, try this mnemonic:

  • ordinals are for ordering
  • cardinals are for counting cards

 Related lessons

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Ordinal numbers in Spanish