Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

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What are ordinal numbers in Spanish?

Ordinal numbers (los números ordinales) allow us to put things in an order, ranking or sequence.

Learn about ordinal numbers in Spanish with Lingolia, then practise using them in the interactive exercises.

Spanish ordinal numbers from 1º to 1.000.000º

primero 11º undécimo / décimo primero / decimoprimero 21º vigésimo primero / vigesimoprimero 31º trigésimo primero 200º ducentésimo
segundo 12º duodécimo / décimo segundo / decimosegundo 22º vigésimo segundo / vigesimosegundo 40º cuadragésimo 211º ducentésimo undécimo / ducentésimo décimo primero / ducentésimo decimoprimero
tercero 13º décimo tercero / decimotercero 23º vigésimo tercero / vigesimotercero 50º quincuagésimo 235º ducentésimo trigésimo quinto
cuarto 14º décimo cuarto / decimocuarto 24º vigésimo cuarto / vigesimocuarto 60º sexagésimo 300º tricentésimo
quinto 15º décimo quinto / decimoquinto 25º vigésimo quinto / vigesimoquinto 70º septuagésimo 400º cuadringentésimo
sexto 16º décimo sexto / decimosexto 26º vigésimo sexto / vigesimosexto 80º octogésimo 500º quingentésimo
séptimo 17º décimo séptimo / decimoséptimo 27º vigésimo séptimo / vigesimoséptimo 90º nonagésimo 600º sexcentésimo
octavo 18º décimo octavo / decimoctavo 28º vigésimo octavo / vigesimoctavo 100º centésimo 700º septingentésimo
noveno 19º décimo noveno / decimonoveno 29º vigésimo noveno / vigesimonoveno 1.000º milésimo 800º octingentésimo
10º décimo 20º vigésimo 30º trigésimo 1.000.000º millonésimo 900º noningentésimo

How to use Spanish ordinal numbers

In Spanish, ordinal numbers agree with the gender and number of the noun they describe.

el segundo autobústhe second bus
las segundas oportunidadesthe second opportunities
Manolo es el primero.Manolo is the first.
Anita es la tercera.Anita is the third.

Ordinal numbers in the tens and twenties (décimo..., vigésimo...) can be written as one word or two.

el vigésimo noveno corredor ↔ el vigesimonoveno corredorthe twenty-ninth runner
when they are written together, the accent is dropped (not: vigésimonoveno)

Starting from the thirties, ordinal numbers are always written as two words.

el trigésimo segundo corredorthe thirty-second runner

If the ordinal number is made up of two or more separate words, all of them agree with the gender and number of the noun they describe, and they all maintain their accents.

la décima primera corredorathe eleventh runner
not: décimo primera

If the ordinal number is written as one word, only the final word changes its ending and the first word loses its accent.

la decimoprimera corredorathe eleventh (female) runner
not: décimaprimera

Exceptions with the ordinal numbers primero and tercero

We remove the ending -o from the ordinal numbers primero and tercero when they come before a masculine noun.

Es mi primer coche.It’s my first car.
Es mi tercer intento.It’s my third try.
Es mi primera actuación.It’s my first performance.

How to write ordinal numbers in Spanish

Like in English, Spanish ordinal numbers are abbreviated by placing letters next to the numeral. These are known as letras voladas (superscript letters). When the numeral comes before a masculine noun, we use the superscript letters o and er, whereas the superscript letter a appears before feminine nouns.

el 3er corredor (el tercer corredor)the 3rd/third runner
el 29º corredor (el vigésimo noveno corredor)the 29th/twenty-ninth runner
la 31a corredora (la trigésima primera corredora)the 31st/thirty-first runner

Roman numerals

Spanish also uses Roman numerals for royal and noble titles that are read aloud as ordinal numbers up to the number ten. After this, we read them as cardinal numbers.

Juan Carlos I – Juan Carlos primero
Isabel II – Isabel segunda
Alfonso X – Alfonso décimo
but: Alfonso XII – Alfonso doce

Editions of events can also be written with Roman numerals as well as abbreviated ordinal numbers.

XVI edición del Festival de San Sebastián
or: 26a edición del Festival de San Sebastiánthe 26th/XVI/Twenty-sixth Edition of the Festival of San Sebastián