Apprendre la Langue Française (99e partie): les nombres ordinaux et les fractions


Ordinal numbers are used to express rank or position – in other words, ordinal numbers are used for ordering, as opposed to cardinal numbers which are used for counting. French ordinal numbers are often taught at the same time as fractions because, beginning with “fifth,” French ordinal numbers and fractions are the same word.

Ordinal Numbers

first premier
1st 1er
second deuxième 2nd 2e
third troisième 3rd 3e
fourth quartrième 4th 4e
fifth cinquième 5th 5e
sixth sixième 6th 6e
seventh septième 7th 7e
eighth huitième 8th 8e
ninth neuvième 9th 9e
tenth dixième 10th 10e


half une moitiè
1/3 un tiers
1/4 un quart
1/5 un cinquième
1/6 un sixième
1/7 un septième
1/8 un huitième
1/9 un neuvième
1/10 un dixième
3/4 trois quarts
2/5 deux cinquièmes

All ordinal numbers (except first) and most fractions are created from their corresponding cardinal number:

cardinal number drop the final e (if any) add -ième
six six sixième
onze onz onzième
vingt et un vingt et un vingt et unième

Watch out for the spelling changes in cinquième and neuvième. Ordinal numbers are not used to talk about dates in French, except for premier.


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