My first brother, second brother, third brother,.......

sb70012

Senior Member
1. Alex: 22 years old
2. Jack: 24 years old
3. John: 26 years old
4. Jason: 27 years old
5. Mike: 28 years old

Hello,
Suppose that I am a girl (female) and I have five brothers. You ask me to talk about my brothers.
I say, "My youngest brother is Alex and he is 22 years old. My oldest brother is Mike and he is 28 years old"

But I don't know how to use ordinal numbers for them.
For example:
a) "My first brother is Alex and he is 22, my second brother is Jack and he is 24, my third brother is John and he is 26, my fourth brother is Jason and he is 27, my fifth brother is Mike and he is 28."
b) "My first brother is Mike and he is 28, my second brother is Jason and he is 24, my third brother is John and he is 26, my fourth brother is Jack and he is 27, my fifth brother is Alex."
You see my confusion now? Would you please help me on that?
Thank you so much
 
  • SgtBullmoose

    Member
    English - Canadian and UK
    Mike is my oldest brother.
    Jason is my second oldest brother.
    John is my third oldest brother.
    Etc....

    If I am 25 years old,
    Jack is my second youngest brother.
    Alex is my youngest brother.

    You cannot say first oldest or first youngest.
     

    SgtBullmoose

    Member
    English - Canadian and UK
    Well, if you are younger than all of them, yes, potentially. However, we would almost never say that. We would say the youngest of my brothers. Jack would then be the second youngest of my brothers. John would be either 'the middle brother' or the 'third oldest.'
     

    DonnyB

    Member Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    No, Alex is the youngest. To refer to Alex as your fifth (eldest) brother would imply there was a sixth one even younger.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is now somewhat unusual to use ordinal numbers when describing your family. The conversation would go:

    A:"Do you have any brothers and sisters?"
    B: "Yes, I have five brothers but no sisters."
    A: "Are you the eldest?"
    B: "As it happens, yes I am. First there's me, I'm 30, then Mike, he's 28; then Jason, he's 27 or so; then John, who's a year younger; then Jack ... I think he's 24, and the youngest is Alex, who's 22."

    However, this is a very full answer.

    You would not say, "My fourth brother is an accountant." You would say, "Jack, my brother, is an accountant."

    The position of a brother or sister is of little importance in the West.
     

    DonnyB

    Member Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I know a girl who has three brothers, whom she calls eldest, middle and youngest, but I agree with Paul: if you had five (or more) you'd be more likely to use their ages - especially if there were sisters as well.
     
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