# Numerals

## Introduction to Numerals.

Numerals express the relation of number and quantity. As with pronouns, they are *relational* words. In English grammar, under the heads of abstract nounsOpens in new window; *numerals* are referred to *numeral adjectives,* and *numeral adverbs*.

Numerals are usually classed with *adjectivesOpens in new window* and called *numeral adjectives*. As with *pronounsOpens in new window,* they can be divided, according to their signification and form, into *substantiveOpens in new window, adjective,* and *adverbial numerals;* as— *“a hundred; ten men; tenthly.”*

Numerals are sub–divided into various forms. The most common are the two forms: ** Cardinal Numerals** (or

*), and*

**Cardinals***(or*

**Ordinal Numerals***).*

**Ordinals**-
Cardinal Numerals — Also singly known as
the**Cardinals**,express number in its simplest form, and answer the question**Cardinal Numerals***“how many?” as, one, two, three, four,*and*so on indefinitely*. The wordis naturally singular. So, the rest are naturally plural. With**one**we can express the repetition of a substance in space, and are properly attributive. Cardinal numerals are sub–divided into the following:**cardinals**, -
Ordinal Numerals — Also known as
the**Ordinals**;indicate a series of entities, and answer the question “which one in the series?” as—**ordinal numerals***first, second, third, fourth*etc. The*ordinal*is a superlative form derived from the root**first**. The word**fore**contrary to the analogy of the other ordinal, is derived from the**second**,**Latin***secundus.* -
Multiplicative Numerals — Also singly known as
the**Multiplicatives**;indicate the number of parts of which a whole is composed, and answer the question**multiplicative numerals***“how many fold?”*as—*single, double, triple,*or*four-fold*or*quadruple*. -
Partitive Numerals — The
include —**partitives***half, a third, a quarter,*or*fourth part*. They are mostly used as substantivesOpens in new window. -
Indefinite Numerals — These include
*many, few, some, all, much, less, several, whole, enough, other, another, only, alone, more, any, none, aught, naught, something, nothing, somewhat,*etc. -
Indefinite Quantitatives — These include
*great, little, some, all*. For the most part, they are taken from the indefinite numerals, sometimes by different words; as—*great*and*little,*or*large*and*small*(comp.*many*and*few*); sometimes by a different construction; as—*some water*(comp.*some men*);*all the house*(comp.*all houses*).

Theand**indefinite numerals**form antitheses; as—**quantitatives***many*opposed to*few; great*to*little; large*to*small; all*to*some.*

Note that the terms or “Cardinal Numerals” as used in the articles above are the pluralized forms and refer to more than one numeral. However, the singular form is either “Cardinals,” or “Cardinal Numeral”“Cardinal”. |

A. Abstract Numerals — The * abstract numerals* express two relations of quantity. They express the preceding numbers used substantively; as—

*the ones, the tens*. They also by words express relation of quantity derived from the LatinOpens in new window; as—

*unity, trinity;*or by words derived from the GreekOpens in new window; as—

*monadOpens in new window, duadOpens in new window*.

B. Distributive Numerals — The * distributive numerals* express relation of quantity as—

*one by one, two by two, fifties*etc. These are expressed in English only by adverbial phrases.

C. Iterative Numerals — The * iterative numerals* express relation of quantity as—

*once, twice, thrice.*These are basically the genitives of the abstract numerals used adverbially. The series continues by means of adverbial phrases; as—

*four times, five times,*etc. and answers to the question

*“how often?”*

The remainder of the ordinals are derived from the cardinal numerals by the addition of the sound of * th,* subject to slight variations. In

*becomes*

**third th***. In*

**d***the vowel is shortened. However, in the*

**fifth***there is the transposition of the letter*

**third***.*

**r**For the most part, * adverbs of order* are derived from the preceding, by means of the adverbial affix

*; as—*

**ly***firstly,*or, better put,

*first, secondly, thirdly,*etc. and

*lastly*. In the higher numbers it is necessary to use an adverbial phrase; as, In the

*in the*

**eleventh place**,

**twelfth place**.### Compound Numerals, Plurals and More.

Compound Numerals — In * compound numerals* of the ordinal series, it is only the last number that takes the ordinal termination; as—

*the*We may compare this with our mode of adding a

**thirty-third**year; the**five hundred and twenty-fifth**year.*genitive*termination to such phrases as

*the King of England: the King of England’s*crown. As we consider

*King of England*a sort compound substantive, and add the mark of the genitive to the end of it, so we consider

*five hundred and twenty–five*a compound adjective, and are satisfied with having the mark of its class put on to the end. When units are combined with tens, they are placed either

*first, with*“and,” or

*last, with–out*“and” (

*four–and–twenty,*or

*twenty–four*); but after a

*hundred*the smaller number is always last; as—

*“a hundred and twenty–four”*.

Plural Forms — The * cardinal numerals* take the plural

*form,*though all

*cardinals*except

*one*are naturally plural. Consider the lines below from Wordsworth and Shakespeare:

*“The sun has long been set,*

The stars are out by

The little birds are piping yet

Among the bushes and the trees.”

—

The stars are out by

**twos**and**threes**,The little birds are piping yet

Among the bushes and the trees.”

—

**Wordsworth**.
*“We are not to stay altogether, but to come to him where he stands by ones, by twos, and by threes.” *

— Shakespeare.