Spanish ordinal numbers – los números ordinales: Spanish vocabulary (A2)

Ordinal numbers are specific numbers that indicate the order of things, they are adjectives. Don’t mistake them with the cardinal numbers. let’s see how they work in Spanish.

Ordinal numbers in Spanish from primero to décimo

Spanish ordinal numbers1. Primero and tercero drop the o before a masculine singular noun: el primer autobús (the first bus); el tercer piso (the third floor).

2. Be careful not to confuse cuarto (fourth) with cuatro (four).

3. Because they are adjectives, ordinal numbers agree with their noun and normally go before it: primer amor (first love); primeros platos (first courses)… Consequently, the little º change to ª in the feminine.

4. In relation to sovereigns or popes, ordinal numbers go after the name when spoken. In this case, we only use the cardinal after 10º: el rey Felipe VI (sexto), la reina Isabel II (segunda), el papa Benedicto XVI (dieciséis).

5. Unlike in English, ordinal numbers aren’t generally used for dates: el 5 de enero (fifth of January), el 1 de diciembre (first of December)…


Ordinal numbers from decimoprimero

From 11th onwards, ordinal numbers are rarely used in spoken Spanish. Cardinal numbers are often used instead, and, in this case, they go after the noun: el piso quince but el decimoquinto piso (the fifteenth floor).

11º can be said decimoprimero or undécimo, and 12º decimosegundo o duodécimo. After that, there is only one possibility: decimotercero, decimocuarto… Look at the chart below, but remember that they are not very much used.

Big ordinal numbers in Spanish

Before practice, the ordinal numbers in Spanish with some interactive activities, review everything with this video, it will show you also how they sound.


Los números ordinales en español ejercicios

Time to practice, but remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have about the Spanish numbers. Don’t you have a Spanish person tutor yet?


Leave us a message if you want we prepare more activities about this topic. By the way, do you know what the idiomatic expression «estar en el séptimo cielo» means?


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