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Ordinal numbers in Spanish

Study Spanish ordinal numbers

The ordinal numbers in Spanish, just like the name suggests, they are numbers which specify the order in which nouns appear in a given series. Just like the cardinal numbers, the ordinal numbers are adjectives as well. However, ordinal numbers, unlike cardinal numbers, do actually match the noun that they modify in gender as well as number. Also, in most circumstances, the ordinal numbers in Spanish go before or precede the noun.

For example, uno (one) is a cardinal number in Spanish while primero (first) is the respective ordinal form. In Spanish, just like in English, adjectives such as the ordinal numbers are often used as nouns as well. Theus, el primero is used to mean “the first one.”

The Spanish ordinal forms are most commonly used for the numbers in Spanish 1-10 and rarely used for the numbers above 10.


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Here are the ordinal forms in Spanish:

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  • First – primero
  • Second – Segundo
  • Third – tercero
  • Fourth – cuarto
  • Fifth – quinto
  • Sixth – sexto
  • Seventh – septimo, setimo
  • Eighth – octavo
  • Ninth – noveno
  • Tenth – decimo

Los números ordinales or ordinal numbers in Spanish are usually used before nouns like casa (house), for example, noveno libro, primero casa and so forth.

When used as adjectives, Spanish ordinal number forms must be in agreement with the nouns they are referring to both in number and in gender. For example el Segundo coche is used to mean “the second car,” while la segunda vez is used to mean “the second time.”

Take note that when the ordinal forms primero and tercero come before a masculine noun in singular form, the last -o is dropped. For example in: el primer rey to mean “the first king” and el tercer trimestre to mean “the third trimester.”

For the large numbers, the most common way is simply to use the cardinal numbers rather than the ordinal numbers, especially in speech. For instance, el siglo veinte to mean “the 20th century” is more commonly used than the ordinal form, which is el siglo vigésimo, while in writing, the most often used is the numerical form el siglo 20.As you continue to study Spanish, you will realize that it is common to structure a sentence in a way that you do not use the ordinal form. Thus, for instance, cumple cuarenta y cinco añosis the most common way to say that it is somebody’s 45th birthday.

Watch also great video about Ordinal Numbers in Spanish here:

Generally, the respective Spanish ordinal numbers are starting from 11th and beyond can be regarded as mostly for formal usage. The following are more examples of large ordinal numbers to assist you learn Spanish even better:

    • 11th – undecimo
    • 12th – duodecimo
    • 13th – decimotercero
    • 14th – decimocuarto
    • 15th – decimoquinto
    • 16th – decimosexto
    • 17th –decimoséptimo
    • 18th – decimoctavo
    • 19th – decimonoveno
    • 20th – vigésimo
    • 21st – vigésimo primero
    • 22nd – vigésimo segundo


  • 23rd – vigésimo tercero


    • 24th – vigésimo cuarto
    • 30th – trigésimo
    • 31st – trigésimo primero


  • 32nd – trigésimo segundo


  • 40th – cuadragésimo
  • 50th – quincuagésimo
  • 60th – sexagésimo
  • 70th – septuagésimo
  • 80th – octogésimo
  • 90th – nonagésimo
  • 100th – centésimo
  • 200th – ducentésimo
  • 300th – tricentésimo
  • 400th – cuadringentésimo
  • 500th – quingentésimo
  • 600th – sexcentésimo
  • 700th – septingentésimo
  • 800th – octingésimo
  • 900th – noningentésimo
  • 1,000th – milésimo
  • 2,000th – dosmilésimo
  • 3,000th – tresmilésimo
  • 4,000th – cuatromilésimo

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