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Ordenstall - Ordinals

In week 2, we went through the Norwegian Cardinal numbers. This week, we are taking a closer look at Ordinals.

What are they?

Unlike a Cardinal number which indicates quantity, how many elements there are of something, like 1, 2 or 25, an Ordinal is a number designating the place, such as first, second, or third, occupied by an item in an ordered sequence.

Winners - 1st to 3rd place

Ordinals in Norwegian are mostly made by adding the ending -(n)de to the cardinal numbers.

They are written with a full stop right after:

14 fjorten 14. fjorten-de
20 tjue 20. tjue-nde

However, the first 12 ordinals deviate from the pattern and you should learn them by heart.

Some ordinals might also challenge your pronunciation. Particularly, this applies to the ordinals 16th, 20th and 27th:

16th is written sekstende, but it is pronounced without the “k”

20th and 27th are written tjuende and tjuesjuende and are pronounced with a /ç/ sound followed by a /∫/sound

From the ordinal 20th on, we have two ways of spelling and pronouncing ordinals, just as we do with normal cardinal numbers, remember?

The modern way:

20. tjuende 20th
27. tjuesjuende 27th
30. trettiende 30th
31. trettiførste 31st

The “old” way:

20. tyvende 20th
27. syvogtyvende 27th
30. tredevte 30th
31. enogtredevte 31st


You can always watch again the video about Cardinal numbers if you are in doubt.

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This video is from the free online course:

Norwegian for Beginners 1

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)