Cardinal, Ordinal and Nominal Numbers
Cardinal: how many
A Cardinal Number is a number that says how many of something there are, such as one, two, three, four, five.
A Cardinal Number answers the question "How Many?"
Example: here are five coins:
It does not have fractions or decimals, as it is only used for counting.
How to remember: "Cardinal is Counting"
An Ordinal Number is a number that tells the position of something in a list.
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on (seeCardinal and Ordinal Numbers Chart for more.)
Example: In this picture the girl is 2nd:
And the two pups are 3rd and 4th.
How to remember: "Ordinal says what Order things are in".
A Nominal Number is a number used only as a name, or to identify something (not as an actual value or position)
- the number on the back of a footballer ("8")
- a postal code ("91210")
- a model number ("380")
How to remember: "Nominal is a Name".
Example With Everything
In this photo there are 6 cars. Car Number "99" (with the yellow roof) is in 1st position:
- 6 is a Cardinal Number (it tells how many)
- 1st is an Ordinal Number (it tells position)
- "99" is a Nominal Number (it is basically just a name for the car)