# Ordinal numbers

6 Minute Vocabulary- 547 views
- 22 Mar 2021

What's the date today? Do you know how to say it? Listen to the programme to find out.

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Six minutes away from BBC Learning English dot com. Hello and welcome to the six minute vocabulary with me, Catherine and me now.

And today we're talking about ordinal numbers. Yeah.

So numbers like first, second and third. So let's start by listening to Laurence.

He's talking about his 18th birthday party. While you listen, try to answer this question. What date was his party?

Here's Laurence. For my 18th birthday last year, I invited about 60 friends and relatives. It was on the 25th of May and it was the first time that I ever had a big party. It was in a restaurant on the third floor of a hotel. The food was really delicious. And I won second prize in the dancing competition.

So we asked you what date was Lawrence's birthday party? And the answer is the 25th of May. That's right.

Now, the 25th is an ordinal number like the first and the second ordinal numbers. Tell us the position of something in a group, the dates in a month, for example, or which birthday it is.

Laurent said it was his 18th birthday. Yes, he did.

Lucky him. And ordinal numbers are different to cardinal numbers.

We use cardinal numbers like one, two, three, four, counting.

And to answer the question, how many and to make a cardinal number into an ordinal number at the letters t h to the end of the cardinal number 18 18th.

Sixty sixtieth, and that works for all the cardinal numbers, except for first, second and third, they're irregular, but for all the others, it's at T8.

So that's fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th. So that's good.

But in writing, we do have a couple of irregular spellings, such as fifth f i f t h eighth e i g h t h ninth and i n t h twelfth t w e l ftth and four nos ending in y like sixty.

Drop the Y and add ihi and t h to make sixtieth.

S i x t i e t h. Now let's look more closely at Dade's listen for the date in this clip. It was on the 25th of May, and it was the first time that I ever had a big party.

The 25th of May, when we say the day before the month, we always use the words the and of the 25th of May, but when we say the month before the day, we don't use the word of it's just May the 25th.

We often use the word there with ordinal numbers, but we can also use possessives. In this next clip, Lawrence uses the possessive adjective My before weightiness.

For my 18th birthday last year, I invited about 60 friends and relatives.

Let's have another clip. It was in a restaurant on the third floor of a hotel. The food was really delicious and I won second prize in the dancing competition.

So now we have two more ways of using ordinal numbers, space and quality.

Yes, we do. And the third floor tells us about the position of the floors in space. It's the same as when we give directions. For example, take the second left after the traffic lights and second prize tells us about the quality.

And a point to make here is that ordinal numbers can be used as adjectives and adverbs without the like in the phrase he won second prize.

Second is an adjective for six minutes vocabulary from BBC Learning English. And now it's quiz time.

Number one, which of these is correct, the parties on a 30th of July be the 30th of July, see the 30th of July and it's the 30th of July.

Great. Now, number two, which word in this list is wrong? First, second, third, fourth and fifth. And the answers Ford, it should be for is it should number three, which of these is correct, a my 21st birthday be my the 21st birthday, see the my 21st birthday.

And the answer is a my 21st birthday. Well done if you got them right. But before we go, here's a vocabulary tip.

Try saying your own important and memorable dates in English, for example, birthdays, anniversaries and festivals.

If the dates are important, you're more likely to remember the English.

There's more about this at ABC Learning English dot com. Join us again soon for more six minute vocabulary by.

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