Ordinal numbers, fractions and the expression of time / الأَعْداد الـتَرْتِيبِيّة والكُسُور والتَعْبِير عَن الوَقْت

Ordinal numbers in Arabic, fractions and the expression of time(الأَعْداد الـتَرْتِيبِيّة والكُسُور والتَعْبِير عَن الوَقْت)

Ordinal numbers

Unlike cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers in Arabic must conform to the gender and case of their head noun, they are inflected for all three cases. They might also be preceded by the definite article الـ. As with any other adjective, the ordinal number follows its corresponding noun in a sentence.

Units

1 to 10:

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th
المُذَكَّر
Masculine
أَوَّلثانٍ
(الثاني)
ثَالِثرابِعخامِسسادِسسابِعثَامِنتاسِععاشِر
المُؤَنَّث
Feminine
أُولىثانيةثَالِثةرابِعةخامِسةسادِسةسابِعةثَامِنةتاسِعةعاشِرة

Examples

The 3rd worldالعالَمُ الثالِثُ
I study for the 5th yearأَدْرُسُ لِلسَنةِ الخامِسةِ

Note: 2nd (ثانٍ) is built on a defective root and 6th (سادِس) is built on different root-letters than 6 (سِتّة).

Note 2: When used with the accusative noun case (مَنْصوب) in the indefinite form (نَكِرة) they can mean firstly, secondly etc…

firstlyأَوّلاً
secondlyثانيًا
thirdlyثالِثًا

11 to 19:

They are all indeclinable, each word ends with the fatḥa. We only put the definite article on the first word to make them definite.

11: we’ll use حادٍ/الحادي instead of أَوّل

12 to 19: composed of the same ordinals used in the units followed by عَشَرَ

المُؤَنَّث
Feminine
ألمُذَكَّر
Masculine
الـ)حاديةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)حاديَ عَشَرَ)11th
الـ)الـثانِيةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)ثانِيَ عَشَرَ)12th
الـ)ثالِثةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)ثالِثَ عَشَرَ)13th
الـ)رابِعةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)رابِعَ عَشَرَ)14th
الـ)خامِسةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)خامِسَ عَشَرَ)15th
الـ)سادِسةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)سادِسَ عَشَرَ)16th
الـ)سابِعةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)سابِعَ عَشَرَ)17th
الـ)ثامِنةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)ثامِنَ عَشَرَ)18th
الـ)تاسِعةَ عَشَرةَ)الـ)تاسِعَ عَشَرَ)19th

Examples

He’s my 13th sonهو اِبْني الثالِثَ عَشَرَ
She’s my 17th daughterهي اِبْنَتِي السابِعةَ عَشَرةَ

Tens 

Ordinals for tens from 20 to 90 are the same as cardinals except that we put the definite article before. They agree in noun case (إِعْراب) with the noun they qualify (but never in gender).

العِشْرُونَ20th
الثَلاثُونَ30th
الأَرْبَعُونَ40th
الخَمْسُونَ50th
السِتُّونَ60th
السَبْعُونَ70th
الثَمانِيُونَ80th
التِسْعُونَ90th

Example:

السنةُ الثلاثُونَ
The 30th year

We utilize logic similar to cardinal figures to formulate the intermediate numbers. We must align the unit of ordinal before ten (و ties these two words together). Both terms need to correspond regarding noun cases and will require an article if necessary.

أَعْمَلُ لِلسَنةَ الخامِسةِ والأرْبَعِينَ
I am working for the 45th year

Hundreds and above

Ordinals for hundreds and above are the same as cardinals except that we put the definite article before (same logic as the tens).

المِئةُ100th
الألفُ1 000th
المِئةُ والأَلْفُ100 000th
الثَلاثُمِئةِ والخامِسةُ والعِشْرون325th

Fractions / الكُسُور

  • From 12 to 110 are formed from pattern فُعْل for singular and أَفْعال for plural

الجَمْع
Plural
المُفْرَد
Singular
أَنْصافنِصْف  12 
أَثْلاثثُلْث 13
أَرْباعرُبْع 14
أَخْماسخُمْس15
أَسْداسسُدْس16
أَسْباعسُبْع17
أَثْمانثُمْن18
أَتْساعتُسْع 19
أَعْشارعُشْر110
  • Above 10 we use the periphrases “one of” (واحِد مِن) or  “part of” (جُزْء مِن)

The expression of time / التَعْبِير عَن الوَقْت

  • An hour is ساعة in Arabic
  • Ordinal numbers are standard for telling time, however, you can also use the cardinal number for one o’clock.
  • We’ll use three different fractions:
    • for a quarter we’ll use رُبْع 
    • for half, we’ll use نِصْف 
    • for 20 minutes we’ll use ثُلْث
  • The word “past” will be translated by the conjunction وَ and “to” by particle إلاّ meaning “except”.
Quarter past ten o’clock (10:15)الساعة العاشِرةُ وَالرُبْعُ
Eight o’clock and a half (8:30)الساعةُ الثامِنةُ والنِصْفُ
Quarter to seven o’clock (6:45)الساعة السابِعة إلاّ الرُبْع
One o’clock past 20 (1:20)الساعةُ الواحِدة وَالثُلْثُ 

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Ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers, fractions and the expression of time

Master the Arabic language with our comprehensive guide to ordinal numbers, fractions and time expressions, including useful examples and tips.

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Course Provider Name: ArabiKey

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