Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

Welcome to our lesson 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 “primer” and “tercer”


What are Ordinal Numbers?

An Ordinal Number expresses the order (first, second, third…) of a noun within a series or sequence. 

They are the equivalent of the English words “first, second, third, fourth”, etc.

If you want to learn the cardinal numbers (one, two, three…), click here for our post about cardinal numbers.

However, if you are here for the Ordinal Numbers, keep on reading!




List of Ordinal Numbers


From 1 to 10:

1stprimero
2ndsegundo
3rdtercero
4thcuarto
5thquinto
6thsexto
7thséptimo
8thoctavo
9thnoveno
10thdécimo


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”)

11thdecimoprimero (or "undécimo")
12thdecimosegundo (or "duodécimo")
13thdecimotercero
14thdecimocuarto
15thdecimoquinto
16thdecimosexto
17thdecimoséptimo
18thdecimoctavo
19thdecimonoveno


From 20 to 99:

We need to learn each of the tens (30, 40, 50…). Then, if the number also has units, we write two separate words:

20thvigésimo
21stvigésimo primero
27thvigésimo séptimo
30thtrigésimo
33rdtrigésimo tercero
38thtrigésimo octavo
40thcuadragésimo
45thcuadragésimo quinto
50thquincuagésimo
60thsexagésimo
70thseptuagésimo
80thoctogésimo
90thnonagésimo
99thnonagésimo noveno


From 100 to 1000:

We 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.

100thcentésimo
113rdcentésimo decimotercero
185thcentésimo octogésimo quinto
200thducentésimo
220thducentésimo vigésimo
296thducentésimo nonagésimo sexto
300thtricentésimo
381sttricentésimo octogésimo primero
400thcuadringentésimo
500thquingentésimo
600thsexcentésimo
700thseptingentésimo
800thoctingentésimo
900thnoningentésimo
999thnoningentésimo nonagésimo noveno
1000milésimo


Feminine and Plural forms

As usual in Spanish, we 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, we need to match all of them to the noun. 

Examples:

 Singular MasculinePlural MasculineSingular FemininePlural Feminine
2ndsegundosegundossegundasegundas
17thdecimoséptimodecimoséptimosdecimoséptimadecimoséptimas
39thtrigésimo novenotrigésimos novenostrigésima novenatrigésimas novenas
225thducentésimo vigésimo quintoducentésimos vigésimos quintosducentésima vigésima quintaducentésimas vigésimas quintas


Short Forms “primer” and “tercer”

For any ordinal number that includes the forms “primero” or “tercero” (including “decimoprimero” and “decimotercero”) there is also a short form: “primer”, “tercer”, “decimoprimer”, “decimotercer”.

We use this short form only when placed before the noun it is connected to, and that noun is masculine singular. 

Examples: 

Vivo en el tercer piso = I live in the 13th floor.   (written right before «piso», which is masculine singular)

Has llegado en el decimoprimer puesto = You have arrived in 11th place. (written right before «puesto», which is masculine singular)


If you want to learn more about Adjectives with a Short Form, click here.