What are Ordinal Numbers and Natural Numbers?

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What are Ordinal Numbers?

If the number of objects or people is specified in a list, then the position of the objects/persons is defined by ordinal numbers. The describing terms used to denote the order of something are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.

Ordinal Numbers

A few examples of ordinal numbers are:

  • Priya came second in class.
  • Hana was the first girl standing in the row.
  • Mohan stays on the eighth floor of the apartment.
  • The table is kept at the tenth position in the display of a shop.

The other two types of numbers that are used to constitute objects or people are:

Cardinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers are counting and calculating numbers that are used to represent the number of objects or people in a particular situation or people. They are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and so on.

Examples of Cardinal Numbers are:

  • Three men are standing in a row.
  • The basket contains five apples in it.

Nominal Numbers

Nominal numbers are the numbers that are applied to name the objects in a set. Using nominal numbers is easy to identify and name objects or collections of things.

Example of Nominal Numbers are:

  • Ticket number like KA 05 1220, etc
  • Pincodes of different telephones
  • Player number in a game

Introduction to Natural Numbers

Natural numbers include a set of all the whole numbers, excluding zero. These numbers are significantly used in our day-to-day lives and calculations.

Natural Numbers

Natural Numbers definition: Natural numbers are the numbers that are used for counting and calculations, which are a part of real numbers. The set of natural numbers include only positive integers.

What are natural numbers?

Natural numbers are a part of the number line, including all the positive integers from the number 1 till infinity. Natural numbers are also known as counting numbers because they do not include zero and negative numbers.

Natural Numbers are a part of the real numbers, but it includes only positive integers. Natural numbers do not include zero, fractions, decimals, and negative numbers.

Which is the smallest Natural Number?

The smallest natural number is one (1). We all know that the smallest element (N) is one and that for every element, we can compare the next element in terms of one. For example, ten is nine more than one; three is one more than two, and so on.

Odd Natural Numbers:

The odd natural numbers are the odd numbers but belong to natural numbers. So the set of odd natural numbers is {9,15,21,27,…}.

Even Natural Numbers:

The even natural numbers are the numbers that are even but belong to the sets of natural numbers. So the set of even natural numbers is {8,10,12,14,…}.

Properties of Natural Numbers

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are the main four methods used in mathematics for calculation. Thus, natural numbers lead to four main and vital properties of natural numbers as given below:

  • Closure Property
  • Associative Property
  • Commutative Property
  • Distributive Property

Fun Facts:

  • Negative numbers, fractions, and decimals are not natural numbers as well whole numbers.
  • N is closed, associative, and commutative under both operations of addition and multiplication only.

Why are Natural Numbers Called Natural?

Natural numbers are called natural because they are used for counting and calculating naturally. The set of natural numbers is the most basic concept of numbers because it is intuitive and natural.

We all use natural numbers in our day-to-day activities that are while counting discrete objects. Hence they are named Natural numbers.


Ordinal and natural numbers form the basis of mathematics. They boost and enhance the mental math skills of a student. Understanding these numbers is important not just for mathematics but also for real-life scenarios.

One can refer to Cuemath online classes in order to understand these concepts in a simple and fun way. Cuemath makes learning super fun and engaging.

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