Chapter 3

Ordinal Numbers


Ordinal numbers indicate the order of a noun in a series.


They are usually placed before a noun, unless they refer to a street, royalty, or a  pope, then it is placed after the noun.


They can also be used as adjectives that match the nouns they modify in both gender and number.


Español es la segunda clase del día.
Spanish is the second class of the day.
El primer día de clases es el más difícil.
The first day of class is always the hardest.



A table that displays ordinal numbers from first to tenth in spanish, and then the english translation.
Primero First
Segundo Second
Tercero Third
Cuarto Fourth
Quinto Fifth
Sexto Sixth
Séptimo Seventh
Octavo Eighth
Noveno Ninth
Décimo Tenth

They have unique forms and are the most commonly used in Spanish.

  • Before singular masculine nouns, primero and tercero are shortened to primer and tercer.

el primer estudiante
the first student


el tercer libro
the third book

  • Teen ordinals, from eleventh to nineteenth are written in one word.

Decimoprimero to Decimonoveno

  • décimo + ordinal number between primero and noveno

eleventh: décimo + primero


twelfth: décimo + segundo


thirteenth: décimo + tercero


The ordinal numbers as a single word, only the final word in these compounds agrees in gender with the noun.

la decimoprimera caja

the eleventh box


Spanish ordinal numbers can have an abbreviated form like in English.


If cardinal and ordinal numbers are in the same sentence, the cardinal number is placed before the ordinal number.


Me gustan los dos primeros meses del año.

I like the first two months of the year.

  1.  Octubre es el mes del año.
  2. Agosto es el mes del año.
  3. Marzo es el mes del año.
  4. Junio es el mes del año.


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Spanish 002 by Ana Serrano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.