Four Catholic Mothers

August 16, 2007


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

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:

August 16

August 16th

16 August

16th August

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


This newsletter is sponsored by:

ADSMARKET Ezine Advertising Network
Solo, Top Sponsor, Classified Ads in Multiple Ezines


That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.