Cardinal Numbers versus Ordinal Numbers

What is the Difference Between Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers?


When to Use Cardinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers are numbers that describe quantity, like one pot, two kettles, or three pans.

Here are some examples,

  • Cardinal numbers can be used to describe the quantity of shirts sold by an apparel retailer.
  • Mathematicians manipulate cardinal numbers in many of their equations.

    When to Use Ordinal Numbers

    Ordinal numbers are numbers that signify relative position, like first in line at the café, second person to comment on Brenda’s new glasses this morning, or third time Kendall has had to tell her friends that she works Friday nights and can only go dancing on Saturdays.

    Summary

    Is it ordinal or cardinal numbers? Ordinal and cardinal numbers are different but related.

    Cardinal numbers signify quantity.

    Ordinal numbers signify order or position.

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