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Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

Last updated date: 28th Feb 2024
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Cardinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers are basically those numbers which provide us the exact quantity of an object, meaning how many of something such as five, seven, eight, ten etc. Simply to say, cardinal numbers answer “How many?”

For example: The given picture shows 4 oranges in a basket. Hence, 4 or ‘four’ here represents a cardinal number.

Cardinal numbers can't avoid being numbers that are used for counting. They are generally called ordinary numbers or cardinals. A lot of cardinal numbers starts from 1 and it proceeds up to boundlessness. We use cardinal numbers to react to the request "what number of?” For example, what number of understudies are going to the school barbecue? The reaction could be any number like 20, 23, 30, etc. Thus, this large number of numbers come in the class of cardinal numbers. In this article, we will examine the universe of cardinal numbers and fathom the qualification among cardinal and ordinal numbers.

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Next, for instance, tell us the cardinal number for the given below image. In the image, you can find 16 coins , thus the cardinal number here is 16.


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Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers meaning states that the numbers which provide us with the exact position of an object are known as the ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers notifies the position of an object instead of their quantity.

For Example:

The picture below depicts different floors in a building. We typically use ordinal numbers to describe their position.

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The numbers 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th explain the position of different floors in the building. Thus, all of them are ordinal numbers.

Difference Between Cardinal And Ordinal Numbers

There is a clear difference between cardinal and ordinal and that you will get the complete idea about from the following:-

Cardinal Numbers

Ordinal Numbers

Cardinal is a function of utility that identifies the satisfaction of a commodity used by an individual and can be backed up using a numeric value.

Ordinal utility describes that user goods can be ranked or positioned in order of preference but cannot be assessed numerically.

Cardinal utility describes the quantitative approach

Cardinal utility describes the qualitative approach

Cardinal utility measurement is objective in nature thus is less practical

Ordinal is a subjective measurement of utility, thus more practical and sensible

Cardinal utility is represented with numbers ending 1-one, 2- two, 3 – three etc

Ordinal utility is essentially represented with numbers ending with 1 ‘–st’, 2 ‘–nd’ and 3 ‘–rd’.

Measurement of utility is done on the basis of utilities

Measurement is done on the basis of rank

For example: Coffee gives Minal 70 utils of satisfaction whereas tea gives only 30utils

Minal admits she gets more satisfaction from coffee as compared to tea. 

Difference Between Cardinal Numbers Examples And Ordinal Numbers Examples

Cardinal number here in this example is 4 that represents the total number of cars. However, if we want to talk about the position of the yellow car, then the ordinal number is 3rd.

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Comparison Chart: Cardinal Numbers v/s Ordinal Numbers

Below is a comparison chart depicting cardinal and ordinal numbers 1 to 20. It is as below:

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Approaches of Measure Utility?

There are basically two approaches to measuring utility, details of which are provided below:

a) Cardinal Utility.

b) Ordinal Utility.

However, remember that these two demand analysis approaches are not in competition with each other, but during the assessment of consumer behavior, they depict two levels of sophistication. Both cardinal and ordinal utility are crucial to evaluate and analyze consumer demand for a commodity, regardless of the purpose.

Limitations of Cardinal Utility

The concept of cardinal utility is essentially used for a single commodity where utility of a single commodity is regarded independent of the other commodities.

Numbers Larger than 20

Using a hyphen between compound numbers.









Numbers Larger Than 100

Using a hyphen between compound numbers and the word or either the Definite Article a or one for 100.




a/one hundred and thirty-one


Four hundred and forty-nine


two hundred and sixty-five

Numbers Larger Than 1,000

Using a hyphen between compound numbers and the word or either the definite article a or one for 1000.

Separate three digits using a comma (,) → 20,000.




a/one thousand one hundred and thirty-one


Four thousand four hundred and forty-nine


eight thousand two hundred and sixty-five


The Number 0 (Zero)

There are many different terms that are used for the number 0.





single digits

(Codes, telephone numbers) 52340


measurements (temperature)

-10 °C

Ten degrees Celsius below zero


figure 0 in British English*

10 - 10 = 0 (ten minus ten leaves nought)


results in sport

The match ended 3 – 0

The match ended three-nil



40 - 0

thirty - love

What are Cardinal Numbers?

A Cardinal Number depicts or addresses the quantity of something that is accessible. Model 2 apples, 5 blooms, etc it assesses an article. It doesn't have values as divisions or decimals. Cardinal numbers are counting numbers, they help to count the amount of things. We ought to analyze cardinal numbers models. Ana needs to count the amount of people staying in a line at a charging counter. Would you have the option to help her? Ana started to count using Natural numbers.

Ana counted 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. There are 5 people staying in a line at the charging counter. Counting numbers are cardinal numbers! As of now, let’s consider another model, Noah kept eight apples in a container. The number eight methods the quantity of apples are there in the canister, paying little heed to their solicitation.

Examples of cardinal numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and so on The smallest Cardinal number is 1 as 0 isn't used for counting, so it's everything except a cardinal number.

Contrast between Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

  • All of the standard numbers are also suggested as cardinal numbers. 

  • Cardinal numbers are used for counting. While an ordinal number is a number that shows the position or spot of an article. 

  • Model: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. Ordinal numbers are used for situating. 

FAQs on Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

1. What is Meant by Decimals in Cardinal Numbers?

Decimals are the mathematical numbers that typically comprises two parts namely, a whole number part and a fractional part of a number isolated by a decimal point. For example, 10.2 is a decimal number. While using the cardinal number for decimals:

2.7 → two point seven

5.36 → five point three six.

2. What is Meant by Roman Numbers?

Roman numbers are used quite scarcely. Since ancient times, roman numbers are typically used to suffix for the names of kings and queens. Nowadays, these numbers are also frequently used to define dates. While using the ordinal number for roman numbers, we use them in the following manner:

  • King George XI → King George Eleven

  • Louis XIV → Louis the Fourteenth

  • Elisabeth III → Elisabeth the Third

3. What is Meant by Fractions and Decimals?

Use fractions for the ordinal number for the denominator:

2/4 → two forth

1 3/5 → one and three fifths


1/2 → one half

1/4 → one quarter

1/10 → one-ten