Knowing Your Ordinal Numbers

The first 10 ordinal numbers can probably be considered basic knowledge by just about anyone who speaks or is learning Portuguese. The lesson the books don’t teach you is what happens after décimo (10th)? How does one say 11th or even something crazy like 44,999th? I would teach you here if I thought there was a way to teach it aside from employing basic memorization skills. Since that is the case, I recommend seeing the Números Ordinais section of this Wikipedia page.

By the way, 11th is either undécimo or décimo primeiro while 44,999th is a bit Germanesque* in length,  quarenta e quatro milésimo noningentésimo nonagésimo nono!

* – I’m refering to das Kompositum.

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One thought on “Knowing Your Ordinal Numbers

  1. Don’t forget about “enésimo”, which is something like “umpteenth”:

    pela enésima vez – for the umpteenth time

    Anyway, what I personally find interesting here is this idea of “basic memorization skills.” This, the memorization of numbers and number sequences, is precisely the challenge which needs to be addressed. There is also the logic of grammar which needs explanation for language learners (teaching people how exactly to hear and see patterns). Fortunately for most languages (as far as I know), ordinary numbers are systemized and “orderly” versions of the cardinal numbers, whose memorization is less basic or rote memorization and more contextual. This goes for time of day, weekdays, and months, as well.

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