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What are ordinal numbers? It’s not a word you hear often – ordinal. It is in fact, a very common thing. Where cardinal numbers represent quantity, ordinal numbers represent position or rank.
And the most common everyday use of ordinal numbers is dates.

After you have mastered cardinal numbers it’s very important to not skip the ordinals, or Ordningstal as we say in Swedish. So let’s get started. Listen to the video and repeat after each number.

 

1st – 20th

1 - 20
förstafirstelfteeleventh
andrasecondtolftetwelfth
tredjethirdtrettondethirteenth
fjärdefourthfjortondefourteenth
femtefifthfemtondefifteenth
sjättesixthsextondesixteenth
sjundeseventhsjuttondeseventeenth
åttondeeighthartondeeighteenth
niondeninthnittondenineteenth
tiondetenthtjugondetwentieth

ABOVE TWENTY

Well that’s the hard part over, to go higher simply add the ordinal with the multiple of 10.

21st – tjugoförsta
37th – trettiosjunde
417th – fyrahundrasjuttonde

And so on.

 

SHORTHAND

In english we place a st, nd, rd or th (ie. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) after the numeral but in Swedish it’s a little different. We use either :a or :e. As you can see from the table :a is only used on 1st & 2nd the rest take a :e. (and any higher numbers ending in either 1st or 2nd ie. 91st = 91:a)

1 - 20
1st1:a11:e11th
2nd2:a12th12:e
3rd3:e13th13:e
4th4:e14th14:e
5th5:e15th15:e
6th6:e16th16:e
7th7:e17th17:e
8th8:e18th18:e
9th9:e19th19:e
10th10:e20th20:e

Conversation in Focus

Now we have everything we need to talk about dates and more in Swedish.
Here is a simple dialogue showing a sample use-case of ordinal numbers.

v

Jag skulle vilja boka ett bord för två. Klockan åtta.

w

Jag absolut, vilket datum?

v

På fredag, den sjunde, tack.

w

Ja det går bra, vi ses på fredag, hej då!

v

Tack snälla, hej då.

TIPS !

One important thing to note is how the Swede’s refer to the centuriesårhundraden.
In english the 18th century, as you know, refers to the 1700’s. (The seventeen hundreds)
This is exactly how we say it in swedish.

18th century – 1700-talet
21st century – 2000-talet 

Well that’s it for ordinal numbers!

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