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Neil Bowers
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Lingua::EN::Numbers::Ordinate -- go from cardinal number (3) to ordinal ("3rd")


  use Lingua::EN::Numbers::Ordinate;
  print ordinate(4), "\n";
   # prints 4th
  print ordinate(-342), "\n";
   # prints -342nd

  # Example of actual use:
  for(my $i = 0; $i < @records; $i++) {
    unless(is_valid($record[$i]) {
      warn "The ", ordinate($i), " record is invalid!\n"; 


There are two kinds of numbers in English -- cardinals (1, 2, 3...), and ordinals (1st, 2nd, 3rd...). This library provides functions for giving the ordinal form of a number, given its cardinal value.



Returns a string consisting of that scalar's string form, plus the appropriate ordinal suffix. Example: ordinate(23) returns "23rd".

As a special case, ordinate(undef) and ordinate("") return "0th", not "th".

This function is exported by default.


Merely an alias for ordinate, but not exported by default.


Returns just the appropriate ordinal suffix for the given scalar numeric value. This is what ordinate uses to actually do its work. For example, ordsuf(3) is "rd".

Not exported by default.

The above functions are all prototyped to take a scalar value, so ordinate(@stuff) is the same as ordinate(scalar @stuff).


* Note that this library knows only about numbers, not number-words. ordinate('seven') might just as well be ordinate('superglue') or ordinate("\x1E\x9A") -- you'll get the fallthru case of the input string plus "th".

* As is unavoidable, ordinate(0256) returns "174th" (because ordinate sees the value 174). Similarly, ordinate(1E12) returns "1000000000000th". Returning "trillionth" would be nice, but that's an awfully atypical case.

* Note that this library's algorithm (as well as the basic concept and implementation of ordinal numbers) is totally language specific.

To pick a trivial example, consider that in French, 1 ordinates as "1ier", whereas 41 ordinates as "41ieme".


Bored of this...?

  use Lingua::EN::Numbers::Ordinate qw(ordinate th);
  print th($n), " entry processed...\n";

Try this bit of lunacy:

    my $th_object;
    sub _th () { $th_object }

    package Lingua::EN::Numbers::Ordinate::Overloader;
    my $x; # Gotta have something to bless.
    $th_object = bless \$x; # Define the object now, which _th returns
    use Carp ();
    use Lingua::EN::Numbers::Ordinate ();
    sub overordinate {
      Carp::croak "_th should be used only as postfix!" unless $_[2];
    use overload '&' => \&overordinate;

Then you get to do:

  print 3 & _th, "\n";
    # prints "3rd"
  print 1 + 2 & _th, "\n";
    # prints "3rd" too!
    # Because of the precedence of & !
  print _th & 3, "\n";
    # dies with: "th should be used only as postfix!"

Kooky, isn't it? For more delightful deleria like this, see Damian Conway's Object Oriented Perl from Manning Press.

Kinda makes you like th(3), doesn't it?


Lingua::EN::Inflect provides an ORD function, which returns the ordinal form of a cardinal number.

Lingua::EN::Number::IsOrdinal provides an is_ordinal function, which returns true if passed an ordinal number.




Copyright (c) 2000 Sean M. Burke. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Sean M. Burke sburke@cpan.org