Cardinal, Ordinal And Nominal Numbers

Let’s talk about mathematics today. This is a short post but should help you use cardinal, ordinal and nominal numbers in Nepali. It isn’t that difficult, to be honest!


Cardinal numbers are numbers denoting quantity, meaning you use them to count.

What are the Pope’s favourite numbers?
= Cardinal Numbers

They answer questions like ‘How many’?

You can read more about this in this lesson, because it is a bit tricky. You have to use these ‘counter’ words and stuff like that.


Nominal numbers are numbers that are used for numerical identification only. For example:

गाडी नं ११ (gadi na eghara)

= Car no. 11

घर नं ५१२५ (ghar na pach hajaar ek saya pachis

= House no. 5125

You can also say ’ekauna pachis’ which means ’fifty-one twenty-five’ instead of saying ‘five thousand one hundred and twenty five’.


Ordinal numbers show order. In other words, it is a number that defines a thing’s position in a series. In Nepali, there are different words to show order.  

First = पहिलो (pahilo) / प्रथम (pratham

Second = दोस्रो (dosro

 Third = तेस्रो (tesro) 

 Forth = चौथो(chautho)

Fifth = पाँचौं (pachau)

Sixth = छैटौं (chaitau)

Seventh = सातौं (saatau)

Eighth = आठौं (aathau)

Ninth = नवौं (nawau)

 Tenth = दशौं (dashau)

After ten, you just add ‘औँ’ (au) after the number. Remove that trailing vowel from the number if the number ends with the sound of ‘a’ of ’ago’ before adding ’au’. For example,

Seventeen = सत्र (satra)

सत्र (satra) + औँ(au) = सत्रौँ (satrau)  [NOT सत्रऔँ!!!]

Seventeenth = सत्रौँ (satrau)

How about with numbers like ‘sixty’ (sathi)? Well, we simply add ‘au’ then.


Sixteith sathi`au (साठ्ठीऔँ)

ऊ प्रथम भयो (pratham bhayo)

= He became first.

म चै दोस्रो भएँ (ma chai dosro bhaye)

= I became second


Since this lesson is intended to be short, I won’t be including Exercises because…it is quite unnecessary, don’t you think? 😉 …………………… Okay fine, I am just lazy…but there isn’t much to write on it!

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