Numbers | Grammar | EnglishClub

Numbers are one kind of determiner. In terms of meaning, numbers are similar to quantifier determiners, but most grammarians treat them separately.

Numbers can be “cardinal” (one, two, three) or “ordinal” (first, second, third), as shown in this table:

  cardinal ordinal  
1 one first 1st
2 two second 2nd
3 three third 3rd
10 ten tenth 10th
21 twenty-one twenty-first 21st
99 ninety-nine ninety-ninth 99th
100 one hundred one hundredth 100th
1000 one thousand one thousandth 1000th
etc see more cardinal and ordinal numbers

Like all determiners, numbers come at the beginning of a noun phrase, so they come in front of any adjective(s).

Look at these example sentences:

  • I ordered two cakes.
  • There were three hundred angry people present.
  • Jane won first prize and Jo won third prize.
  • They have just produced their one millionth sports car.

When used together in a noun phrase, ordinals normally come before cardinals.

  • The first three prizes went to the same family.

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READ:  Chuck Tessler | Towson University

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