Welcome to our post about Ordinal Numbers in Spanish (Números Ordinales).
We will go through these points:
- 1. What are Ordinal Numbers?
- 2. List of Ordinal Numbers
- 3. Feminine and Plural forms
- 4. Short Forms of “primero” and “tercero”
1. What are Ordinal Numbers?
An Ordinal Number expresses the order (first, second, third…) of a noun within a series or sequence. For example, If someone says “this is my first coffee of the day”, that is the first coffee of a series or coffees still to come 🙂
Basically then, in this post we will learn the equivalent of the English words “first, second, third, fourth”, etc. If you arrived at this post by mistake, and what you wanted to learn were the cardinal numbers (one, two, three…), click here for our post about cardinal numbers.
2. List of Ordinal Numbers
From 1 to 10:
These ones you have to just learn them 🙂
From 11 to 19:
Still written in just one word, consisting on “décimo-” followed by the words learned in the previous table (but 18th = decimoctavo, not “
decimooctavo”) 11th decimoprimero (or "undécimo")
12th decimosegundo (or "duodécimo")
From 20 to 99:
You need to learn each of the tens (30, 40, 50…). Then, if the number also has units, you write two separate words: one for the tens and one for the units (using the words in the first table of this post):
21st vigésimo primero
27th vigésimo séptimo
33rd trigésimo tercero
38th trigésimo octavo
45th cuadragésimo quinto
99th nonagésimo noveno
From 100 to 1000:
You need to learn each of the hundreds (100, 200, 300…) and again, keep adding words if there are tens and units, using the previous tables.
113rd centésimo decimotercero
185th centésimo octogésimo quinto
220th ducentésimo vigésimo
296th ducentésimo nonagésimo sexto
381st tricentésimo octogésimo primero
999th noningentésimo nonagésimo noveno
3. Feminine and Plural forms
As it’s typical in Spanish, you need to match the gender and number of the ordinal number to the noun it refers to.
If the ordinal number consists on more than one word, you match the number of the gender of each of the words, not just the last one. Some examples:
Singular Masculine Plural Masculine Singular Feminine Plural Feminine
2nd segundo segundos segunda segundas
17th decimoséptimo decimoséptimos decimoséptima decimoséptimas
39th trigésimo noveno trigésimos novenos trigésima novena trigésimas novenas
225th ducentésimo vigésimo quinto ducentésimos vigésimos quintos ducentésima vigésima quinta ducentésimas vigésimas quintas
4. Short Forms “primer” and “tercer”
For any ordinal number that includes the words “primero” or “tercero” (including “decimoprimero” and “decimotercero”) there is also a shorter form: “primer”, “tercer”, “decimoprimer” and “decimotercer”.
We will use this shorter form ONLY for the masculine singular case, and ONLY when the ordinal number comes right before the noun it refers to.
If you want to know more about adjectives with a shorter form, click here.