Paj-Puj: Ordinal Numbers and Their Formation

Ordinal Numbers and Their Formation

تەرتىپ سان ۋە تەرتىپ ساننىڭ شەكىللىنىشى

Ordinal numbers are used for specifying the order or ranking of something (e.g., "first", "ninth", etc.) In Uyghur, they are formed by adding the suffix ىنچى to the plain (cardinal) numbers. When the cardinal number ends in a vowel, this final vowel fuses with the ئى. Uyghur is somewhat simpler than English in this regard, as there is only one form - the English analogues to ـىنچى include "-st", "-nd", "-rd", and "-th".

zero + th = "zeroth"
نۆل + ىنچى = نۆلىنچى

one + st = first
بىر + ىنچى = بىرىنچى

two + nd = second
ئىككى + ىنچى = ئىككىنچى

five + th = fifth
بەش + ىنچى = بەشىنچى

six + th = sixth
ئالتە + ىنچى = ئالتىنچى

ten + th = tenth
ئون + ىنچى = ئونىنچى

eighty + th = eightieth
سەكسەن + ىنچى = سەكسىنىنچى

thousand + th = thousandth
مىڭ + ىنچى = مىڭىنچى

billion + th = billionth
مىليارد + ىنچى = مىلياردىنچى

one thousand nine hundred eighty-fifth
بىر مىڭ توققۇز يۈز سەكسەن بەشىنچى

When ordinal numbers are used with more formal, fixed terms (in domains such as academia, transportation, or dates), it is customary (in writing) to replace the suffix ـىنچى by the standard hyphen, ـ, and the numeral (provided that the object that the ordinal number modifies follows immediately after). Some examples would include يىل ـ 2001 ("the year 2001", read as ئىككى مىڭ بىرىنچى يىل) and نومۇرلۇق ئايروپىلان ـ 582 ("Flight #582", read as بەش يۈز سەكسەن ئىككىنچى نومۇرلۇق ئايروپىلان). However, for very ordinary, everyday things, such as ئىككىنچى دۇكان ("second shop", perhaps in reference to the second shop on a street of similar shops), one should write out the ordinal without the numeral and hyphen.

This is the first lesson.
.بۇ بىرىنچى دەرس
.بۇ 1 ـ دەرس
.بۇ تۇنجى دەرس

If we retreat from this now, we'll never get a second chance.
.ئەگەر ھازىر بۇنىڭدىن چېكىنسەك بىزنىڭ ئىككىنچى پۇرسىتىمىز ھەرگىزمۇ كەلمەيدۇ


  1. Personal research/experience
  2. Gulnisa Nazarova, Kurban Niyaz, "Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook". Georgetown University Press: 2013. (p. 89, 476)
  3. Renee D. Gaines, "Beginning Uyghur for English Speakers". Xinjiang University Press: Urumqi, 2010. (p. 130)
  4. Tarjei Engesæth, Mahire Yakup, Arienne M. Dwyer, "Greetings from the Teklimakan: a handbook of Modern Uyghur". University of Kansas: Kansas, 2009. (p. 81-82, 134)
  5. Nabijan Tursun, "Uyghur Reader". Dunwoody Press: Hyattsville, 2009. (p. xvii, 24)
  6. Hamit A. Zakir, "Introduction to Modern Uighur". Xinjiang University Press: Urumqi, 2007. (p. 69)
  7. Frederick De Jong, "A Grammar of Modern Uyghur". Houtsma Stichting: Utrecht, 2007. (p. 88-89)
  8. Hämit Tömür, "Modern Uyghur Grammar" (translation by Anne Lee). Yıldız: Istanbul, 2003. (p. 38, 134)
  9. Reinhard F. Hahn, Ablahat Ibrahim, "Spoken Uyghur". University of Washington Press: Seattle, 1991. (p. 594)
  10. E. N. Nadzhip, "Modern Uigur". Nauka Publishing House: Moscow, 1971. (p. 95, 135)
  11. G. Raquette, "Eastern Turki Grammar: Practical and Theoretical with Vocabulary". Reichsdruckerei: Berlin, 1912. (p. 139)
  12. 米海力, "维吾尔语喀什话研究"。中央民族大学出版社: 北京, 1997。 (p. 75)
  13. Gulnisa Nazarova, Kurban Niyaz, "Uyghur: An Intermediate Textbook". Georgetown University Press: 2016. (p. 2)