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Cardinal Numbers in Spanish
Cardinal numbers (cardinales) are the numbers used for counting; of course they look the same in Spanish as well as in English:
In Spanish uno becomes un when used in front of a masculine noun: un perro, veintiún perros. To refer to a feminine noun una is used: una mujer, treinta y una mujeres. Uno is used only when counting (uno, dos, tres) or for numerals refering to a masculine noun but does not precede that noun: ¿Cuántos hijos tienes? - Uno (or else we simply write) - un hijo
21-29 are usually a single word composed as follows: omit the last e from veinte and add i instead then add the digit = veintiuno, the rest 30-99 can be formed up to three words: treinta y uno.
So in short, uno in compound
numbers loses the -o before masculine nouns, whether singular or
plural: cuarenta y un días (forty-one days).
Ordinal numbers are used for positions, we say in English “first” “second” when referring to the position of someone/ something… same thing in Spanish:
After ten, cardinal numbers are generally used to indicate
the ordinal numbers which makes it very easy for Spanish learners:
Note that Spanish reverses the English usage of commas and periods in numbers: 1.250 kilómetros = 1,250 kilometers; 1,25 litros = 1.25 liters.
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