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

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

1. ### white_raySenior Member

Paris
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.
wr

2. ### VodounMember

Chicago
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. ### polly2009New Member

spanish
Hello,
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
hour.

thanx a lot!!

4. ### ace02ncSenior 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 PrinceNew Member

Vietnamese
So can I write 2017-Apr-26 or it has to be 2017-Apr-26th??

6. ### PaulQSenior Member

UK
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. ### DonnyBSenior 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.

[cross-posted]