Ordinal Numbers Spanish

A Beginner’s Guide to Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

Ordinal numbers in Spanish are used to indicate the order or position of things or people in a series. How do you say “first, second, third…” in Spanish? Well, you do that with ordinal numbers. They are essential in everyday communication, especially in formal contexts such as giving directions, making appointments, or describing events. 

In this blog post, we will explore the use of ordinal numbers in Spanish and provide you with some tips and examples to help you master them.

Formation of Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

Here are the ordinal numbers in Spanish from Primero to Vigésimo:

  1. Primero/Primera – First
  2. Segundo/Segunda – Second
  3. Tercero/Tercera – Third
  4. Cuarto/Cuarta – Fourth
  5. Quinto/Quinta – Fifth
  6. Sexto/Sexta – Sixth
  7. Séptimo/Séptima – Seventh
  8. Octavo/Octava – Eighth
  9. Noveno/Novena – Ninth
  10. Décimo/Décima – Tenth
  11. Undécimo/Undécima – Eleventh
  12. Duodécimo/Duodécima – Twelfth
  13. Decimotercero/Decimotercera – Thirteenth
  14. Decimocuarto/Decimocuarta – Fourteenth
  15. Decimoquinto/Decimoquinta – Fifteenth
  16. Decimosexto/Decimosexta – Sixteenth
  17. Decimoséptimo/Decimoséptima – Seventeenth
  18. Decimoctavo/Decimoctava – Eighteenth
  19. Decimonoveno/Decimonovena – Nineteenth
  20. Vigésimo/Vigésima – Twentieth

From the 20th onward, you can form other ordinal numbers similarly:

  1. Vigésimo primero/Vigésima primera – Twenty-first
  2. Vigésimo segundo/Vigésima segunda – Twenty-second … and so on.

However, it’s essential to note that after the first few ordinal numbers, they become less commonly used in everyday Spanish. Instead, cardinal numbers (like “veintiuno” instead of “vigésimo primero”) are typically employed.

Gender Agreement

Like in other Romance languages, the adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. This means that ordinal numbers in Spanish must also agree in gender with the nouns they refer to. 

For example, if you want to say “the third book” in Spanish, you would say “el tercer libro” for a masculine noun. If you want to say “the third person” in Spanish, you would say “la tercera persona” for a feminine noun.

Using Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

Ordinal numbers are used in a variety of contexts in Spanish. Here are some examples:


  • Hoy es el 25 de abril. (Today is April 25th)
  • Mañana será el primer día del mes. (Tomorrow will be the first day of the month)


  • Ella tiene cuarenta y cinco años. (She is forty-five years old)
  • Juan cumplió su décimo quinto cumpleaños. (Juan celebrated his fifteenth birthday)


  • En la maratón, él llegó en segundo lugar. (In the marathon, he came in second place)
  • Esta es la tercera vez que visito España. (This is the third time I’ve visited Spain)

What are Nominal Numbers in Spanish?

In Spanish, “nominal numbers” would be translated as “números nominales”. These are numbers that name or label something without indicating quantity, order, or measure – thats why they are “Nominal” they “Name” something. So basically Nominal numbers are the same as “normal” numbers except “Uno” is not usually used because the indefiite article is used instead (“A car” – not “one car”)

For example:

  • Room 102 in a hotel (Habitación 102)
  • Player number 7 in a soccer team (Jugador número 7)
  • Model 500 of a product (Modelo 500)

In these examples, the numbers 102, 7, and 500 are nominal because they serve to identify or name, but they do not quantify, order, or measure anything about the room, player, or product.

Ordinal Numbers in Spanish Infographic:

Ordinal Numbers in Spanish Infographic
Ordinal Numbers in Spanish Infographic

Ready To Talk in Spanish?

Ordinal numbers in Spanish are an essential part of grammar and communication. Understanding how to form and use them accurately is necessary to speak and write Spanish effectively. Remember to pay attention to gender agreement and exceptions to the regular formation of ordinal numbers. Practice using them in different contexts, and soon you’ll master them!

Get in touch with us! Our expert staff will get in touch within 24 hours, and you can start practicing your Spanish right away. Or sign up for a group class (online or in person) or test your level for free with our free quizzes. 



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