Cardinal numerals

Cardinal numerals

Like any other part of speech, numerals have their own characteristics. There are three types: ordinal, quantitative and collective. Their purpose is not difficult to guess by the name, but let's take a closer look at what they are. 

What it is 

Cardinal numbers are those that answer the question "how much?" and its derivatives. Simply put, with their help, we talk about the amount of something. In English, this is "how many?" and "how much?" referring to countable and uncountable nouns, respectively. Cardinal numbers are what we learn first. First, from 1 to 10, then 11 and 12, then 13 - 19, followed by tens, hundreds and thousands. 

  • How many apples do you need? 
  • I think I need five apples. 
  • How much sugar do you put in your tea? 
  • Three spoons. 

1 – one  

2 – two  

3 – three  

4 – four 

5 – five  

6 – six  

7 – seven  

8 – eight  

9 – nine  

0 – zero  

11 – eleven  

12 – twelve  

13 – thirteen  

14 – fourteen.  

15 – fifteen  

16 – sixteen  

17 – seventeen  

18 – eighteen  

19 – nineteen  

20 – twenty  

30 – thirty  

40 – fourty  

50 – fifty  

60 – sixty  

70 – seventy  

80 – eighty  

90 – ninety  

100 – a/one hundred  

1,000 – a/one thousand  

1,000,000 – a/one million 


How are formed 

The formation of the word form of the numeral occurs in the same way as with other parts of speech. True, the only way of word formation applicable in this case is suffixal. But there are exceptions. 

To form numbers from 13 to 19, you need to add the suffix -teen to the number. To make it easier to remember, you can use the association with the word teenager, because that's where it came from (the English suffix -teen and the word age - age). 

Education from 3 and 5 is different, since here there is some replacement of letters in words. 13 would be written as thirteen (not threeteen), 15 would be fifteen. We advise you to pay special attention to these numbers, as their incorrect formation and pronunciation are the most common mistakes in this topic. 

To form tens, add the -ty suffix. The rule with the exception of education from 3 and 5 works here too. 30 - thirty (instead of threety), and 50 - fifty (instead of fivety). 

The numerals 11 - eleven, and 12 - twelve are exceptions. They just need to be remembered, since they do not obey the rules of word formation, having their own word forms. 

Features of writing and use 

The first feature in writing cardinal numbers should be considered that hundreds and tens are written using and between them, and tens with the number (49) are written with a hyphen: 

  • one hundred and seventy 
  • Sixty-five 

The second thing to remember is that hundreds, thousands, and millions are not plural. In English the use of the plural will be considered a gross mistake. 

  • Three hundred 
  • Four thousand 
  • Nine million 

And, third, but not least in importance - commas after thousands. It's commas, not dots. And yes, you need to know that too. 

  • Thousand - 1,000 
  • Five million - 5,000,000 

Of course, we've covered grammar rules that can seem pretty strict. In fact, in colloquial practice, everything is quite simple - there is no mandatory and or a comma after every 999. But this does not mean that you can be careless about the rules. Knowing the rules always plays a key role in learning a language.