Turkish numbers II: the ordinals

Now that we’ve learned the cardinal numbers, we can also learn their ordinal forms. Ordinal numbers deal with identifying things in order in a sequence, as in the English “first, second, third, fourth,” and so on. Turkish creates these by taking the cardinal number and tacking on an ending, “-IncI,” that may vary in spelling for the sake of vowel harmony. There is an irregular form of “first.” Below are the ordinals from “first” through “tenth”:

First  = birinci or ilk

Second = ikinci

Third = üçüncü

Fourth = dördüncü

Fifth = beşinci

Sixth = altıncı

Seventh = yedinci

Eighth = sekizinci

Ninth = dokuzuncu

Tenth = onuncu

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Turkish Numbers and Ottoman Numerals, 0-10

For higher numbers, go here.

Modern Turkish, written in Latin script, also employs our familiar Western Arabic numerals, so the only new thing to learn from the table below with respect to Modern Turkish is the Turkish names for the numbers; Turkish has its own names for every number save zero, sıfır, which it takes from Arabic. The table below shows names and numerals for the numbers from 0-10, plus their Eastern Arabic/Ottoman equivalents (teens will have to wait for another time). I decided to include the Ottoman forms because this seemed like a simple way to remind readers that, prior to Atatürk’s script reform in 1928, (then-Ottoman) Turkish was written in Arabic script using Eastern Arabic numerals.

“Number” and “numeral” may be translated as rakam (pl. rakamlar), from the Arabic ruqm; sayı (pl. sayılar); or (less common) adet, from the Arabic ʿadad.

English name

Western Arabic numeral

Modern Turkish name

Eastern Arabic numeral

Ottoman transliteration

zero

0

sıfır

۰

صِفِر (ṣifir)

one

1

bir

۱

بِر (bir)

two

2

iki

۲

ایكی (īkī)

three

3

 

üç

۳

اوچ (ūch)

four

4

dört

٤ (variant: ۴)

دُرت (durt)

five

5

beş

۵

بِش (bish)

six

6

altı

٦ (variant: ۶)

التی (altī)

seven

7

yedi

۷

یِدی (yidī)

eight

8

sekiz

۸

سِكِز (sikiz)

nine

9

dokuz

۹

طُقوز (d̤uqūz)

ten

10

on

۱۰

اون (ūn)

4 and 6, in the Eastern Arabic system, have alternate forms; one more commonly found in Arabic and the other more commonly found in Persian. Ottoman Turkish generally used the Arab forms as far as I know, but it’s possible the Persian variants could have been used as well so I’ve included them.