Spanish as a language

Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

Do you know the cardinal and ordinal numbers in Spanish? Learning Spanish numbers is one of the first steps in mastering the language well. To determine which number to use, you will need to ask yourself first ‘what is ordinal numbers and cardinal numbers?’

With this iScribo post you will learn ordinal and cardinal numbers in Spanish. Read on to learn more about this topic.

Cardinal Numbers in Spanish

Cardinal numbers are a type of natural numbers that we use to count the elements that exist in a group or set. Among the characteristics of cardinal numbers, we can mention that they represent the number of things in a total.

For example: uno (one), dos (two), tres (three), quinientos cincuenta y siete (five hundred and fifty-seven), cinco mil cuatrocientos noventa y dos (five thousand four hundred and ninety-two), and so on.

Nos compramos un coche la semana pasada. (We bought a -one- car last week.)

En el frutero hay quince peras, veintidós fresas y cuatro manzanas. (In the fruit bowl there are fifteen pears, twenty-two strawberries and four apples.)

Cardinal numbers are divided into odd and even numbers.

Even numbers: cero (zero), dos (two), cuatro (four), seis (six) and so on.

Odd: uno (one), tres (three), cinco (five), siete (seven) and so on.

List of Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

Ordinal numbers express order or succession within the natural numbers and indicate the place they occupy within a series. In other words, they are used to indicate position. Note that ordinal numbers vary in gender and number depending on the context and the word they accompany.

For example: primero (first), segunda (second), vigésimos (twentieth), quincuagésimo segundo (fifty-second), and so on.

Remember that the suffix -avo is considered incorrect as an ordinal number and is only used with fractional numbers, so we would say decimoquinto (fifteenth) and not quinceavo.

Quedó octavo en la carrera. (He came eighth in the race.)

Vivimos en el trigésimo segundo piso de la torre norte. (We live on the thirty-second floor of the north tower.)

iScribo Teaches and Helps You

The higher the number, the more difficult it is to write it, and we are aware that ordinal numbers are also more difficult to write than cardinals.

Don’t be discouraged, once you learn how to write the natural numbers and become familiar with the suffixes, you will see that they are all written in the same way.

A trick to make sure you never make a mistake is to use a spelling and grammar checker to help you clarify and learn them well from the very first moment. Have you tried iScribo yet? Tell us about it in the comments.

Writing in Spanish

The 8 Best Spelling Rules for Numbers in Spanish

The spelling rules for numbers differ from one language to another. When you speak several languages, it is common to mix up the rules and confuse the spelling of numbers.

Today we’ll show you some tips for spelling ordinal numbers in Spanish and spelling cardinal numbers in Spanish.

Ordinal numbers are numbers that indicate order or position in a sequence, for example, primero (first) or vigésimo (twentieth). Cardinal numbers express quantity in relation to the series of natural numbers, for example, uno (one) or veinte (twenty).

1. Separation With More Than Three Digits

When a number has four digits, the RAE recommends writing them together, but if there are more than four digits, leave a space between each group of three, never use a full stop or a comma for this purpose:




3 400





456 000

100 500 600

2. Concordance

Figures can be followed by nouns but remember that the word thousand is an adjective, so you will have to make the concordance as such:


Cuarenta miles de puestos de trabajo

(Forty thousand Jobs)


Cuarenta mil puestos de trabajo

3. Figures or Letters?

Don’t mix numbers and letters when using numerical adjectives:


40 mil kilogramos

Cuarenta 1000 kilogramos

(Forty thousand kilograms)


40 000 kilogramos

Cuarenta mil kilogramos

4. Symbols

When a number goes with a symbol, always leave a blank between the number and the symbol:





5 kg

100 %

5. Alternation

To express alternation between numbers to separate quantities, we will use the conjunctions o and u (or) when needed and never a slash:


Había 10/12 personas

Peso 80/81 kg

(There were 10 or 12 people

Weight 80 or 81 kg)


Había 10 o 12 personas

Peso 80 u 81 kg

6. Decimals

A comma is recommended to separate decimals, although the use of a full stop would be permitted.


67 982,89

7. Write With Numbers

Page numbers, years and street numbers. After all, in some contexts, the aim is to facilitate the work of others. For example, it is much easier for a postman to read C/ Conde Mariscal, 67.


Página ochenta de cuatrocientas

Calle Recoletos, veintitrés

(Page eighty of four hundred

Calle Recoletos, twenty-three)


Página 80 de 400

Calle Recoletos, 23

8. Write With Letters

Expressions are always written in letters, as are numbers in legal documents, to avoid confusion.


Cada 2 por 3


Cada dos por tres

(Every now and then)

From Numbers to Letters

Sometimes you may wonder how to write out numbers to letters in Spanish. Well, you can use iScribo’s spelling and grammar checker to make sure you write them properly. We advise you to learn the RAE rules before practising. Are you confident to write some numbers with letters in the comments?

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