Ordinal Number – Definition, Properties


Many people are unaware that numbers can be used in a variety of ways. Assume you’re keeping track of the number of hits in a baseball game, the number of shirts you’ll need to pack for a trip, or the number of books you’ve read this summer. These numbers are a count of balls, shirts, and books if you hit five balls, pack three shirts, or read ten books. Other times, you don’t want a number to tell you how many of something there are. In this case, ordinal numbers, or numbers that indicate order or position, would be used.

Ordinal numbers are a concept that we use on a daily basis. Obviously, we must ensure that our children understand what they are and what they mean. But you might be thinking, “It’s been a few years since I was in school, and I have no idea what an ordinal number is!”

Ordinal Number Examples

I’m sure you’re familiar with cardinal numbers! What is the total number of eyes you have? You’ve got ‘two’ eyes. We count with cardinal numbers (think cardinal = counting).

Ordinal numbers are all preceded by a suffix. The suffixes are as follows: -nd, -rd, -st, or -th. ‘Second’ (2nd), ‘third’ (3rd), ‘first’ (1st), and ‘tenth’ (10th) are some examples of ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers are used to represent dates and the order of things (think ordinal = order).

  • Exemplification 1:

‘January 15th, 2013.’ This date would be ‘January fifteenth, twenty thirteen if we were to say it aloud.

  • Exemplification 2:

‘Students include John, Mary, Henry, Ron, Sally, Jeff, as well as Robert.’

Where is Henry in the queue? Henry is the third person in line.

Who is the fifth person in line? Sally is the fifth person in line.

What is an Ordinal Number & Where are They Used?

A  number that indicates a number’s position or order in relation to other numbers is known as an ordinal number. For instance, Tom was the first to submit his work, or the cups are stored on the second shelf. ‘First’ and ‘second’ are ordinal numbers that can also be written as numerals, such as 1st or 2nd.

Ordinal numbers are used to specify the position or order of something. The pens, for example, are kept in the third drawer from the top, and Ria lives on the second floor of the apartment. The numbers here specify the position or order of the object or people, as the case may be.

How Do You Write Ordinal Numbers in Maths?

Ordinal numbers are preceded by a suffix. When expressed in words, they can be written as first, second, third, and so on. Ordinal numbers are expressed as numerals by adding the last two letters of the words to the respective numbers, such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.

Ordinal number words are words that represent position or rank in the order in which they appear in a list. The ordinal number is used to specify the position of something.

For example, Preethu was first in class, Joyita was third in the sack race, and the storybook kept fifth place from last.

Solved Examples

Q.1. Jyoti, Priya, Preethu, Rachna, and Joyita are in line. Who is the person in the second position?

Ans: Based on the information provided, we can deduce that Jyoti is in first place, Priya is in second place, Preethu is in third place, Rachna is in fourth place, and Joyita is in fifth place. As a result, Priya is in second place.

Cuemath Website

You’ve probably noticed that the subject is simple to grasp. Solving an Ordinal number problem will not feel like a problem if you have conceptual clarity on the subject, which is where Cuemath comes in. Cuemath is the most effective online math services platform for establishing a solid mathematical foundation. Go to the Cuemath website to learn more about these concepts in depth. You can visit the website to understand the concept of Ordinal numbers in a fun way!


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