1) Four Catholic Mothers
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Ordinal Numbers
Four Catholic Mothers
Four Catholic mothers are having coffee together discussing how important their children are.
The first one tells her friends, “My son is a priest. When he walks into a room, everyone calls him ‘Father'”.
The second Catholic woman chirps, “Well, my son is a bishop. Whenever he walks into a room, people say, ‘Your Grace'”.
The third Catholic woman says smugly, “Well, not to put you down, but my son is a cardinal. Whenever he walks into a room, people say ‘Your Eminence'”.
The fourth Catholic woman sips her coffee in silence.
The first three women give her this subtle “Well…?”
She replies, “My son is a gorgeous, tall, muscular stripper. Whenever he walks into a room, women say, ‘My God…'”
Let’s try to explain the difficult words in the joke!
– To put down means to make something or someone seem less important or little.
– Birds chirp, but when people do the same thing they say something with a high, happy voice.
– The meaning of smugly is in an arrogant manner.
– When some sips his/her coffee, he/she drinks it, taking only a very small amount at a time.
– What the fourth woman means when she says that her son is gorgeous is that he is very handsome.
– A stripper is someone whose job is removing all their clothing to entertain other people.
Ordinal numbers tell the order of things in a set—first, second, third, etc. They do not show quantity. They only show rank or position.
Well, I suggest we first list them below and then we take a closer look at their spelling and use.
1st – first
2nd – second
3rd – third
4th – fourth
5th – fifth
6th – sixth
7th – seventh
8th – eighth
9th – ninth
10th – tenth
11th – eleventh
12th – twelfth
13th – thirteenth
14th – fourteenth
15th – fifteenth
16th – sixteenth
17th – seventeenth
18th – eighteenth
19th – nineteenth
20th – tweentieth
21st – twenty-first
30th – thirtieth
31th – thirty-first
40th – fortieth
50th – fiftieth
60th – sixtieth
70th – seventieth
80th – eightieth
90th – ninetieth
100th – one hundredth
1000th – one thousandth
It’s very easy to learn ordinal numbers because you just add “-th” to the cardinal number.
four – fourth
eleven – eleventh
However, you have to bear in mind the following exceptions:
one – first
two – second
three – third
Notice the irregular spelling of:
five – fifth
eight – eighth
nine – ninth
twelve – twelfth
twenty – twentieth
thirty – thirtieth
fourty – fourtieth
fifty – fiftieth
sixty – sixtieth
seventy – seventieth
eighty – eightieth
ninety – ninetieth
In compound ordinal numbers, note that only the last figure is written as an ordinal number:
721st – seven hundred and twenty-first
3,111th – three thousand, one hundred and eleventh
As you can see from above, when expressed as figures, the last two letters of the written word are added to the ordinal number:
first – 1st
second – 2nd
third – 3rd
fourth – 4th
twenty-sixth – 26th
hundred and first – 101st
When do we use ordinal numbers?
At least in two cases:
Dates are expressed by ordinal numbers, so when we speak we say:
August the sixteenth or the sixteenth of August
However, we can write them in a variety of ways:
16th of August
August the 16th
In titles of kings and queens, ordinal numbers are written in Roman numbers. In spoken English, the ordinal numbers are preceded by “the”:
Charles II – Charles the Second
Edward VI – Edward the Sixth
Henry VIII – Henry the Eighth
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That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.
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