Ordinal Numbers for intermediate learners

Imagine that you are on a list and you want to know where you are standing. To refer to that number, we use 'ordinal numbers.'

Ordinal Numbers in English Language

Why Do We Use Ordinal Numbers

We use ordinal numbers to show the position of something on a list or in a certain order.

How to Write Ordinal Numbers: 1-10

We usually add 'th' at the end of numbers in order to turn them into ordinal numbers. But one, two, and three are exceptions. Take a look at the list below:

Written Numeral
1 first
2 second
3 third
4 fourth
5 fifth
6 sixth
7 seventh
8 eighth
9 ninth
10 tenth


Pay attention to the spelling of ordinal numbers. The spelling of some numbers changes when we add 'th'. For example:
Five → fifth
Eight → eighth
Nine → ninth

How to Write Ordinal Numbers: 11-20

Just like ordinal numbers from four to ten, ordinal numbers from 11 to 20 get 'th' at the end. Take a look at this list:

Written Numeral
eleventh 11th
twelfth 12th
thirteenth 13th
fourteenth 14th
fifteenth 15th
sixteenth 16th
seventeenth 17th
eighteenth 18th
nineteenth 19th
twentieth 20th


You can see that the spelling of some numbers changes. For example:

twelve → twelfth

Twenty → twentieth

How to Write Ordinal Numbers: Compound

When we want to write compound ordinal numbers, we use this form: the first part (cardinal number) + hyphen + second part (ordinal number)

Written Numeral
twenty-first 21st
twenty-second 22nd
twenty-third 23rd
twenty-fourth 24th
twenty-fifth 25th
twenty-sixth 26th
twenty-seventh 27th
twenty-eighth 28th
twenty-ninth 29th

How to Write Ordinal Numbers: The Tens

As you saw before, when forming ordinal numbers, the letter 'y' at the end of the number changes into 'ie'. Take a look at the list below:

Written Numeral
tenth 10th
twentieth 20th
thirtieth 30th
fortieth 40th
fiftieth 50th
sixtieth 60th
seventieth 70th
eightieth 80th
nintieth 90th


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