Ordinal Numbers - Definition with Examples

The Complete K-5 Math Learning Program Built for Your Child

  • 30 Million Kids

    Loved by kids and parent worldwide

  • 50,000 Schools

    Trusted by teachers across schools

  • Comprehensive Curriculum

    Aligned to Common Core

Ordinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers

The numbers which give us the exact quantity of an object are called cardinal numbers. In other words, cardinal numbers answer “How many?”

For instance: The given picture shows 4 cars in a parking lot.  Hence, 4 or ‘four’ here is a cardinal number.

 

Cardinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers

The numbers which give us the exact position of an object are called ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers tell the position of an object rather than their quantity. 

For instance:

Example 1- The given picture shows different floors in a building. We can use ordinal numbers to define their position.

The numbers 1st(First), 2nd(Second), 3rd(Third), 4th(Fourth), 5th(Fifth), 6th(Sixth), 7th(Seventh), 8th(Eighth), 9th(Ninth) and 10th(Tenth) tell the position of different floors in the building. Hence, all of them are ordinal numbers.

Ordinal Numbers

Example 2-The given picture shows some athletes competing in a 400 m race. We can use ordinal numbers to define their position.

Example 2

The numbers 1st(First), 2nd(Second), 3rd(Third), 4th(Fourth), 5th(Fifth), 6th(Sixth), 7th(Seventh), 8th(Eighth), 9th(Ninth) and 10th(Tenth) tell the position of different athletes in the race. Hence, all of them are ordinal numbers.

Comparison Chart: Ordinal Numbers v/s Cardinal Numbers

Cardinal Numbers

Ordinal Numbers

1

One

1st

First

2

Two

2nd

Second

3

Three

3rd

Third

4

Four

4th

Fourth

5

Five

5th

Fifth

6

Six

6th

Sixth

7

Seven

7th

Seventh

8

Eight

8th

Eighth

9

Nine

9th

Ninth

10

Ten

10th

Tenth

11

Eleven

11th

Eleventh

12

Twelve

12th

Twelfth

13

Thirteen

13th

Thirteenth

14

Fourteen

14th

Fourteenth

15

Fifteen

15th

Fifteenth

 

  Fun Fact-
  • 11, 12 and 13 are the only numbers to use a suffix ‘–th’ but all other numbers ending with 1 use ‘–st’, 2 use ‘–nd’ and 3 use ‘–rd’.

 

Won Numerous Awards & Honors
Awards honors badge