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In both Italian and English, there’s a lot of overlap between fractions and ordinals: the vast majority of these two types of numbers share the same word. In English, they are identical from "third" on up, and in Italian they’re the same starting with terzo.
|a third||1/3||un terzo|
|a fourth||1/4||un quarto|
|a fifth||1/5||un quinto|
|a sixth||1/6||un sesto|
|a seventh||1/7||un settimo|
|an eighth||1/8||un ottavo|
|a ninth||1/9||un nono|
|a tenth||1/10||un decimo|
Note that while fractions can be singular or plural, they are always masculine.
|il mezzo dei ravioli||half of the ravioli|
|due terzi della torta||two thirds of the pie|
Other than mezzo, all Italian fractions are the same as the corresponding ordinal numbers. See the list of 3rd through 10th above – you just need to memorize that list.
Starting with 11th, Italian fractions are based on their corresponding cardinal number: drop the final vowel and add the suffix –esimo.
|cardinal||drop vowel||add –esimo|
Beginning with "third," Italian fractions are identical to ordinal numbers, other than the type of article:
|third||un terzo||il terzo|
|fiftieth||un cinquantesimo||il cinquantesimo|
Italian fractions and ordinal numbers are abbreviated differently. The fraction un quinto can only be abbreviated 1/5, whereas the ordinal quinto is shortened to 5°.
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Ciao! I’m Laura K Lawless, creator, writer, editor, and CLO (Chief Lawless Officer) of this free online Italian learning site. Lawless Italian is an official Lawless Languages site.