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Nineth Vs Ninth, Which One Is The Correct Spelling?

Nineth Vs Ninth, Which One Is The Correct Spelling?

When we count the elements of a set, the total number that represents them is called cardinal. When we put order to that sequence of numbers, we have what are called ordinal numbers. We often have to give order to the things surrounding us: the final positions of a competition or the floors of a building. That is why the use of ordinal numbers is so important.

Which is the correct spelling: "nineth" or "ninth"?. "Ninth" (9th) is an ordinal number. It is the only proper adjective for counting the sequence of things after the eighth position. "Nineth" is a word that does not exist in English and is a misspelled word we used as a synonym for "ninth."

Ordinal numbers like "ninth" are part of the natural numbers and allow us to create the order or position that an element occupies within a group. They are words that we commonly use and are present in many daily life situations. Still, although we understand them, they can generate confusion when writing them correctly. That is why today, we will explain the essential aspects of ordinal numbers.

What Are Ordinal Numbers?

Thanks to the natural numbers, which are all the positive numbers we know, we can count and order things. In these situations is where ordinal and cardinal numbers appear.

Today we will learn a little more about the numbers that allow us to order things or tell the position of the elements: the ordinals.

If we use the natural numbers to count and order elements of a group, we are using the ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers are always best explained with an example. In a sprint race, the runners reach the finish line in a specific position that depends on the speed of each participant.

The athlete who wins the gold medal was the first to arrive, the one who wins the silver medal is the one who comes second, and the one who wins the bronze medal is the one who comes third.

According to our set criteria, ordinal numbers help us put things in a logical and orderly sequence.


The Origin Of Ordinal Numbers

Placing ordinal numbers with suffixes in the superscript of the word is a regular practice. It may have its origin in the custom of writing a small "o" at the end of some words. This practice was common among the pre-modern scribes.

This form of writing was used with ordinal numbers referring to dates, for example, "in the thousandth […] year after Jesus Christ".

The use of these terminals in the languages of Europe comes from the use of Latin, in the same way that scribes in monasteries did before writing became a more widespread form of communication among peoples.

Georg Ferdinand Cantor (1845 – 1918) was an important mathematician born in Russia but later became a German citizen. He was the creator of several theories that are the basis of modern mathematics. Thanks to his advanced research, he is considered the father of cardinal and ordinal numbers.

The terminal letters used to depend on the gender of the article used, for example, "the first day." As when in ancient times, people referred to the days on which things happened. For example, instead of saying "Peter died on the ninth day of June," they would say, "Peter died on the ninth day of June."

Origin In The United States


In early 19th century handwriting, the writers raised the ordinal endings, that is, the origin of the term "superscripts." Then the typewriter appeared at the end of the 19th century, and from then on, it was common to write them at the same height as the rest of the letters.

This new usage began to be popular in several writing style guides at the beginning of the 20th century. This writing recommendation is evident in the seventeenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, where they say, "The letters of ordinal numbers should not appear as superscripts." The Bluebook also supported this recommendation with the support of the Council of Science Editors, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

These style guides said that the two problems they saw with superscripts were that they were only used for citations and were tiny and difficult to read. At that time, word processors such as Microsoft Word had limitations for placing ordinal indicators, and that was why they were not as popular or recommended by these companies.

Main Rules Of Ordinal Numbers

We use the ordinal numbers to tell the position of the things that are part of a list. When we start learning English, one of the first lessons we learn is cardinal numbers. Cardinal numbers are nothing more than learning the classic, one, two, three, four.

With this information, we have enough to begin to count and do some mathematical math. Still, if we want to know and say something, besides "first" and "last," we will need to learn the ordinal numbers because they are not all written in the same way.

How To Write Ordinal Numbers

Generally speaking, ordinal numbers are pretty straightforward. All you have to do is add "th" to the end of the cardinal number.

  • Four = fourth
  • Six = sixth
  • Seven = seventh
  • Eleven = eleventh

And this is repeated in the same way with almost all numbers. But be careful; there are several exceptions to this rule:

  • One = first
  • Two = second
  • Three = third
  • Five = fifth
  • Eight = eighth
  • Nine = "ninth"
  • Twelve = Twelfth

When numbers end in "y," this letter is changed to "I," and "eth" is added. Let's see it in these examples.

  • Twenty = twentieth
  • Thirty = thirtieth
  • Forty = fortieth
  • Fifty = fiftieth
  • Eighty = eightieth

You also have to remember is that in compound numbers, "th" is added only to the last digit:

  • 422 = four hundred and twenty-second
  • 5111 = five thousand, one hundred and eleventh
  • 650 = six hundred and fortieth
  • 129 = one hundred and twenty-"ninth"

The Use Of Abbreviations

If we do not want to write the whole number, we can use its abbreviation. The abbreviation will depend on the last digit of the number. For example:

  • 221st: as the last number is "one," we must use its abbreviation, "st."
  • 732nd: as the last number is "two," we must use its abbreviation, "nd."
  • 373rd: as the last number is "three," we must use its abbreviation, "rd."
  • 919th: as the last number is "nine," we must use its abbreviation, "th."

How People Use The Word "Ninth"?


Let's review the primary uses of the word "ninth" in our daily life.

"Ninth" As A Noun

  • In music, a "ninth" is an interval formed by an octave note with a second note. Since a "ninth" is an octave more significant than a second, its sonority is softer and harmonic.
  • It is the person or thing that ranks "ninth" in any contest or competition
  • It is one of the nine parts of a whole
  • It is the quotient of one divided by nine
  • It is the "ninth" position in a countable series of things
  • It is the "ninth" part of something

"Ninth" As An Adjective

  • It is the ordinal form of the number nine
  • It is that which follows the eighth and comes before the tenth

Other Fascinating Uses Of Ordinal Numbers

We already know almost everything about ordinal numbers, but apart from their principal use, how else can we look at ordinal numbers? Besides using them to indicate the order of various things, we can also use them to talk about dates and the names of kings or monarchs.

In The Case Of Dates

When we are going to say a date orally, we can do it in two ways:

  • Today is the twentieth of December
  • Today is December the twentieth

But when we are going to write dates, the ways to do it are:

  • Today is 20th December
  • Today is December 20th

In The Case Of Monarchs Or Kings

The names of monarchs have a number in the back. People always write their words in Roman numerals. Still, you use the ordinal numbers to read them:

  • Henry VIII = Henry the Eight
  • Edward VI = Edward the Sixth
  • Elizabeth I = Elizabeth the First

Examples Of The Use Of The Word "Ninth" In Everyday Sentences

Almost to finish, we will see some sentences that you can use as a base to make new sentences with your ideas. You should keep practicing and wait for the right moment to use them in our conversations.

  • In the August report, my company appeared in "ninth" place in the most important companies in the sector.
  • Mary's office is on the "ninth" floor; take the elevator on the right
  • My city is the "ninth" largest olive oil producer in the region; we must continue to work hard

A Final Thought On The Word "Ninth"

Ordinal numbers are beneficial in our daily lives. They allow us to order anything, people or elements of groups in the positions that correspond to them.

But although they are straightforward to use, we must be very aware of their rules and exceptions. As we saw, it is easy to make spelling mistakes when writing them.


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