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Numbers in Portuguese: How to Use Ordinal Numbers


After learning the cardinal numbers in Portuguese, you’ll also find it useful to learn ordinal numbers: the numbers defining an object’s position in a series, such as “first,” “second,” “third,” and so on. These, as you will see below, are slightly more challenging than the cardinal numbers, firstly because you have to think about gender and plurality a lot more, and secondly because the words themselves can be a little awkward and are harder to remember. However, if you practice with an expert tutor, it shouldn’t take you too long to master this subject.


Suffixes

Just like articles and adjectives, ordinal numbers in Portuguese inflect for gender and plurality. For example, the word for “first,” primeiro, can be spelled four different ways, depending on the noun to which it refers:


The first day

O primeiro dia (masculine singular)


The first thing

A primeira coisa (feminine singular)


The first days

Os primeiros dias (masculine plural)


The first things

As primeiras coisas (feminine plural)


The system of suffixes is the same for all ordinal numbers in Portuguese—so, masculine singulars always end with -o, feminine singulars all end with -a, masculine plurals all end with -os, and feminine plurals all end with -as. In the next section, for convenience, we will use the masculine singular; to inflect for femininity or plurality, simply remove the -o at the end of the word and replace it with the appropriate suffix.


The Ordinal Numbers in Portuguese, from 1st to 1,000th


First

Primeiro


Second

Segundo


Third

Terceiro


Fourth

Quarto


Fifth

Quinto


Sixth

Sexto


Seventh

Sétimo


Eighth

Oitavo


Ninth

Nono


Tenth

Décimo


Eleventh

Décimo primeiro

Note: For compound ordinal numbers such as this, both (or all) words must be inflected for gender and plurality.


Twelfth

Décimo segundo


Thirteenth

Décimo terceiro


Fourteenth

Décimo quarto


Fifteenth

Décimo quinto


Sixteenth

Décimo sexto


Seventeenth

Décimo sétimo


Eighteenth

Décimo oitavo


Nineteenth

Décimo nono


Twentieth

Vigésimo


Twenty-first

Vigésimo primeiro


Thirtieth

Trigésimo


Fortieth

Quadragésimo


Fiftieth

Quinquagésimo


Sixtieth

Sexagésimo


Seventieth

Septuagésimo


Eightieth

Octogésimo


Ninetieth

Nonagésimo


Hundredth

Centésimo


Hundred first

Centésimo primeiro


Hundred tenth

Centésimo décimo


Hundred eleventh

Centésimo décimo primeiro


Two hundredth

Ducentésimo


Three hundredth

Trecentésimo


Four hundredth

Quadrigentésimo


Five hundredth

Quingentésimo


Six hundredth

Sexcentésimo


Seven hundredth

Setingentésimo


Eight hundredth

Octingentésimo


Nine hundredth

Nongentésimo


Thousandth

Milésimo


Mastering Numbers in Portuguese

The main challenge with learning numbers in Portuguese, whether cardinal or ordinal, is simply memorizing the vocabulary—there aren’t too many grammatical rules to learn. The best way of mastering this subject is to practice regularly with a tutor who can coach you on all the vocabulary and guide you through the subject at a pace tailored to your individual needs.



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