Cardinal and Ordinal numbers - Learning Concepts
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Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers:

The numbers that give us the exact quantity of an object are called Cardinal numbers. A Cardinal Number says how many of something, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

Example: In the following picture, we can use cardinal number to tell the exact quantity of pencils. There are 15 pencils in the given picture. So, 15 is a cardinal number.

G1_1__Ordinal numbers_colour pencils.jpg

Ordinal Numbers:

The number which indicates the order or position of an object is called an Ordinal numbers . An ordinal number tells us the position of something in a list. Such as first, second, third, fourth, etc.

Example: In the given picture, we can use ordinal numbers to indicate the positions of Steve, John, Bella, and Rita.

G1_2__Ordinal numbers_4 children.jpg

Steve is standing at 1st position, John at 2nd position, Bella at 3rd position and Rita is standing at 4th position.

  • Cardinal numbers tell ‘how many’ of something, they show quantity.
  • Ordinal numbers tell the order of how things are set, they show the position or the rank of something.
  • Cardinal and ordinal numbers can be memorised as:

CardinalG1_3__Ordinal numbers_Arrow.jpg Counting

OrdinalG1_3__Ordinal numbers_Arrow.jpg Order

Rules for the writing ordinal numbers:

  • When number ends with 1, use the suffix ‘st’.

    1st, 21st, 31st, etc.

  • When number ends with 2, use the suffix ‘nd’.

    2nd, 22nd, 32nd, etc.

  • When number ends with 3, use the suffix ‘rd’.

    3rd, 23rd, 33rd, etc.

  • When number ends with 0, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9, use the suffix ‘th’.

    4th, 14th, 15th, 26th, etc.


Ordinal numbers for 11, 12 and 13 are 11th, 12th, and 13th, respectively. Ordinal numbers are used in to indicate the position of the object in the line, que or race. There are some other uses of ordinal numbers.

Use of ordinal numbers:

  • To indicate the position of an object in a line, in a queue, in a race, etc.
  • Example: First in the line, third in the race, 5th in the queue, etc.

  • To indicate dates and century.
  • Example: 15th August, 21st Century, etc

  • To indicate floors/Steps.
  • Example:

    G1_4__Ordinal numbers_building.jpg

Did you know?

G1_6__Ordinal numbers_independence day pic.jpg
  • 25th anniversary of an important event is called as Silver jubilee or ‘Rajat Mahotsav’.
  • 50th anniversary of an important event is called as Golden jubilee or ‘Swarn Mahotsav’.
  • 75th anniversary of an important event is called as Platinum jubilee or ‘Amrit Mahotsav’.
  • 100th anniversary of an important event is called as Centenary or ‘Shatabdi’.

New word:

Suffix: A letter or group of letters added to the end of a word or number to form a derivative. For example; ing, th, etc. Going,Fourth

G1_8a__Ordinal numbers_11 to 20 ordinal numbers.jpg

G1_8a__Ordinal numbers_11 to 20 ordinal numbers.jpg G1_8b__Ordinal numbers_21 to 30 ordinal numbers.jpg G1_8c__Ordinal numbers_21 to 30 ordinal numbers.jpg

G1_9__Ordinal numbers_Mind map.jpg
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