Writing ordinal numbers: 31st or 31th / 72nd / 178th

Discussion in 'English Only' started by white_ray, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. white_ray

    white_ray Senior Member

    Portuguese PT
    Hello all,
    A colleague of mine has a doubt about the usage of ordinal numbers in English.
    Which one is correct: 31st or 31th? 41st or 41th (of October) and so forth?
    I always used 31st/41st etc. but after some research I noticed that 31th/41th etc. appear a lot.
    Any insights into the usage of these ordinals are welcome. :)
  2. Vodoun Member

    English - America
    Anytime it ends in a 1 it will be 1st (21st, 141st)
    ends in a 2 it will be 2nd
    ends in a 3 it will be 3rd
    ends in 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, it will be 4th
  3. polly2009 New Member

    i want to know how is the right way of writing the numbers on this sentences:

    this value decreased exponentially during the sedimentation until the 72nd hour.
    At this point the total contamination became constant to about 800 mg/kg until the 168 th

    thanx a lot!!
  4. ace02nc Senior Member

    English - United States
    What you have here is correct, but typically in technical/scientific documents such as these, you will see it written as Hour 72, Hour #168, etc.
  5. Guitar Prince

    Guitar Prince New Member

    So can I write 2017-Apr-26 or it has to be 2017-Apr-26th??
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Your way of writing the date is rare, and so the question is very difficult to answer. My reaction would be that 2017-Apr-26th is unusual and looks strange.

    In fact, there is a big problem in answering your question: the way in which dates are written varies greatly by country, culture and the reason for writing the date.

    If you are writing a date as if it were spoken - "I will see you on the 26th of May [2017]" - then you use the suffix (BE uses "of"; AE may omit it).

    If you are writing the date as a reference or in a list and you use dashes or slashes (24/Apr/2017; 24-Apr-2017) then you do not use the suffixes st, nd, th.

    The main ways of writing a date as a reference or in a list are
    31/03/2017 BE, Commonwealth, most of Europe
    03/31/2017 AE
    2017/03/31 Sweden, a few European countries, data entry, the house style of some organisations
    20170331 data entry

    Neither do you usually use the suffixes if there are slashes/dashes and there is a shortened form of the month: (24/Apr/2017; 24-Apr-2017)
  7. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    That's a relatively unusual format for writing a date, but if you put the year first I've never seen it done using an ordinal for the day.


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