If this is your first time learning ordinal numbers, you may get confused about how to write or spell them correctly. You should know that ordinal numbers are actually used to put things in order that can be anything from an address to the position a runner finishes in a race.
It is known that ordinal numbers show position or order in relation to other numbers. In this case, ordinal numbers always have a suffix attached onto the end. When spelling the ordinal numbers, you may be confused which one is correct between 2rd or 2nd. To try to find out the correct answer, you can dive into our post below.
Which Is Correct, 2rd or 2nd?
The 2nd (second) is the correct spelling. The short of the word second is often used in written dates. The second comes from Latin where it used to have the form secundus. The 2nd appeared in English in the times of Middle English. Furthermore, it is the short form of the word second.
Here some examples of sentences with the ‘2nd’:
- Since Marry is such a perfectionist person, of course, is never satisfied with the 2nd best.
- Donna likes watching the 2nd hand on a clock.
- Today is her second marriage.
- She prefers the second option.
- Can you five me a second chance
- President Obama won a 2nd term.
How to Spell Ordinal Numbers?
There are a number of rules to determine which suffix to add to a number, including:
- When a number ends with 1, the suffix at the end is -st (1st)
- When a number ends with 2, the suffix at the end is -nd (2nd)
- When a number ends with 3, the suffix at the end is -rd (3rd)
- When a number that ends with 0,4,5,6,7,8,9 the suffix at the end is -th (4th) including 10th, 100th, etc.
- An exception to the rules above us when a numeral ends with 11, 12, or 13 that all use the -th suffix.
Well, those rules and the list above must make it simple to determine which suffix you have to turn a cardinal number into an ordinal one.
Here are the spelling of ordinal numbers and a few rules:
- 1st = first (Lee Donna won first prize.)
- 2nd = second (John lives on the 2nd floor.)
- 3rd = third (Take the third turning on the left.)
- 4th = fourth (Today is Michael’s fourth birthday.)
- 5th = fifth (This is my 5th time that I have taken my driving test.)
Adding to ‘th’ to teen numbers, here are they:
- sixth (6th)
- seventh (7th)
- eighth (8th)
- ninth (9th)
- tenth (10th)
- eleventh (11th)
- twelfth (12th)
- thirteenth (13th)
- twentieth (20th)
- twenty-first (21st)
- twenty-second (22nd)
- twenty-third (23rd)
- twenty-fourth (24th)
- thirtieth (30th)
Hyphens for normal numbers and ordinal numbers from 21 upwards
Of course, you will need a hyphen when writing cardinal numbers from 21 upwards. It’s important to note, there will be no space between the letters and hyphen:
- one hundred and twenty-nine
- one thousand two hundred and thirty-one pounds
If you use a hyphen, it can also apply to ordinal numbers from 21st:
- twenty-first = 21st (It’s her 21st on Sunday.)
- twenty-third = 23rd
- thirty-second = 32nd
- thirty-third = 33rd
- forty-third = 43rd
- forty-fourth = 44th
- fifty-third = 53rd
- fifty-fifth = 55th
- sixty-fourth = 64th
- sixty-sixth = 66th
- seventy-eighth = 78th
- seventy-seventh = 77th
- eighty-second = 82nd
- eighty-eighth = 88th
- ninety-ninth = 99th
- two hundred and twenty-first = 221st
Keep in mind, there is no space between hyphens and words.
Spelling rules with whole numbers
- 20th = twentieth
- 30th = thirtieth
- 40th = fortieth
- 50th = fiftieth
- 60th = sixtieth
- 70th = seventieth
- 80th = eightieth
- 90th = ninetieth
In long numbers, ‘th’ is added to the last number:
- 106th = one hundred and sixth
- 242nd = two hundred and forty-second
- 2018th = two thousand and eighteenth
Get to Know about Ordinal Numbers
In linguistics, ordinal numbers or ordinal numerals words are the kinds of words that represent position or rank in a sequential order. The order here may be of importance, size, chronology and others. They actually differ from cardinal numerals that represent quantity and other types of numerals.
In traditional grammar, all numerals including ordinal numbers are categorized into a separate part of speech. In modern interpretations of English grammar, however, ordinal numerals are commonly conflated with adjectives.
With the suffix acting as an ordinal indicator, the ordinal numbers may be written in English with numerals and letter suffixes: 1st, 2nd or 2d, 3rd or 3d, 4th, 11th, 21st, 101st, 477th, etc. In American Sign Language, the ordinal numbers first through ninth are created with handshapes similar to those for corresponding cardinal numbers with the addition of a small twist of the twist.
In English, the main ordinal series is ‘first’, ‘second’ that is used in a variety of rankings, including time, space and quality. The Latinate series ‘primary’, ‘secondary’ is often used for importance or precedence and sequence of dependence, although there are other uses as well. The first two in the sequence are by far the most common: ‘tertiary’ sometimes appears, and higher numbers are rare except in specialized contexts.
The Greek series proto-, deutero-, trito-, ….is only found in prefixes commonly scholarly and technical coinages, i.e., deuteragonist, protagonist, tritagonist; protium, tritium; Proto-Isaiah, deuterium, Deutero-Isaiah. Numbers beyond three are rare, these beyond four are unclear.
The spatial and chronological ordinal numbers that correspond to cardinals from 13 to 19 are the numbers that are followed by the suffix -th, as ‘sixteenth’. For multiples of ten, the same principle applies, with terminal -y changed to -ieth, as ‘sixtieth’.
For other numbers, the cardinal number elements are used, with the last word replaced by the ordinal: 23 à ‘twenty-third’, 523 à ‘five hundred twenty-third’. With a denominator of 4 sometimes spoken as ‘quarter’ rather than ‘fourth’, when the spatial/ chronological numbering system is used for denominators larger than 2 when speaking the numbers in fractions.