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Numbers in English

Cardinal numbers – 

In English and mathematics, cardinal numbers are the numbers themselves in plain and simple form: 4, 1 15, 1345, 66, 87, 18, 56, 3, etc. These numbers indicate how many elements there are in an assemblage. Generally, it’s best to write the letter form of the number in writing and not the numeral form.

  • 76, 86 98, 1034, 54
  • I have twenty-five children accompanying me.
  • How many pigeons were on the window sill this morning? There were three.
  • I know about four guys who can help you.
  • He’s thirty-eight years old.
Ordinal numbers – 

Ordinal numbers are used to designate a place in English, such as; third, second, first, eighth, twenty-first, seventh, one-hundredth, eighty-ninth etc. We use them to show the position of something or someone in a series.

  • My brother came first (1st) in the running race.
  • I bet him to second (2nd) place.
  • I was ninety-ninth (99th) out of one hundred competitors, so not such a bad effort.
  • According to my results, I placed twenty-fourth (24th) out of the thirty-three members.
  • It’s not always about coming first (1st) place.
  • Prizes will be allocated to first (1st), second (2nd) and third (3rd) placed competitors.
Roman numbers – 

In English, we mainly use the standard Arabic numbers for mostly everything and more importantly, mathematics, although we do use Roman numbers also, for things such as; clocks numbers, naming historical events or statues, films, monuments etc. They are still used for historical reasons and they also look very aesthetic and classy.

  • I = 1
  • V= 5
  • X = 10
  • L = 50
  • C = 100
  • D = 500
  • M = 1000

 Upper case (capital letters) or lower case (small letters) can be used to form the numbers. 


Usually, letters are ordered in decline of the order of value, eg ‘XV’ = 15 (10+5). Letters can be repeated to increase value, eg ‘XX’ = 20, ‘XX’ = 30. Letters cannot be repeated more than three times, so ‘XXXX’ is not used for 40. In this case, ‘XL’ = 40 (50 takeaway 10).

Down below, you can see a full elaboration on Roman numerals:
Roman numerals
Arabic numerals
upper-case (capital letter)
lower-case (small letter)
I i 1
II ii 2
III iii 3
IV iv 4
V v 5
VI vi 6
VII vii 7
VIII viii 8
IX ix 9
X x 10
XI xi 11
XII xii 12
XIII xiii 13
XIV xiv 14
XV xv 15
XVI xvi 16
XVII xvii 17
XVIII xviii 18
XIX xix 19
XX xx 20
XXI xxi 21
XXII xxii 22
XXIII xxiii 23
XXX xxx 30
XL xl 40
L l 50
LX lx 60
LXX lxx 70
LXXX lxxx 80
XC xc 90
C c 100
CC cc 200
CCC ccc 300
CD cd 400
D d 500
M m 1000




See also: 


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