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  1. #1
    gtk Guest

    How can we ask about the ordinal in a series?

    How can we ask a question to get an answer like:
    1. It's the third house from the corner of the street.
    2. He is second in the queue. (is this expression used only in BritishEng?)

    It seems that there isn't a very specific word or expression for asking about ordinals as in other languages, but there there must be a natural way of doing it.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    We'd say 'Where in the queue is he?' and 'Which house is it?'

    There is no obvious way of asking an ordinal question.

  3. #3
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    Re: How can we ask about the ordinal in a series?

    Quote Originally Posted by gtk
    How can we ask a question to get an answer like:
    1. It's the third house from the corner of the street.
    2. He is second in the queue. (is this expression used only in BritishEng?)

    It seems that there isn't a very specific word or expression for asking about ordinals as in other languages, but there there must be a natural way of doing it.
    In addition, you could try something like "Where...on/in...?", like this,

    Q: Where is your house on the street?
    A: It's the third one down.

    Q: Where is he in line/in the queue?
    A: He's third (in line).

    Yes, queue is BrE. :D

    All the best, :D

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: How can we ask about the ordinal in a series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Yes, queue is BrE. :D

    All the best, :D
    You don't have queues in Canada? We're a small island.

  5. #5
    Natalie27 Guest

    Re: How can we ask about the ordinal in a series?

    Quote Originally Posted by gtk
    How can we ask a question to get an answer like:
    1. It's the third house from the corner of the street.
    2. He is second in the queue. (is this expression used only in BritishEng?)

    It seems that there isn't a very specific word or expression for asking about ordinals as in other languages, but there there must be a natural way of doing it.
    I would say: it's the third house past the corner.

  6. #6
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    Re: How can we ask about the ordinal in a series?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Yes, queue is BrE. :D

    All the best, :D
    You don't have queues in Canada? We're a small island.
    Nope, but we have Q-tips.

    Psst: Why is it called a "Q"? Why not, "--", dash, a long line?

  7. #7
    gtk Guest
    Thank you all for your replies.
    I think it's what I expected to be. We should use "What", Which" or "Where" provided that we draw the interlocutor's attention to the context, in order to get an expected answer.
    Now I'm pondering over Natalie's reply and I think she is right. However, I posted this question in other forums but I didn't get any feedback regarding "from the". Is it wrong to say "from something/somewhere"? Although I've been learning english for many years, I'm not very good at giving directions.

    Regards,

    Marco

  8. #8
    Natalie27 Guest

    Re: How can we ask about the ordinal in a series?

    Quote Originally Posted by gtk
    How can we ask a question to get an answer like:
    1. It's the third house from the corner of the street.
    2. He is second in the queue. (is this expression used only in BritishEng?)

    It seems that there isn't a very specific word or expression for asking about ordinals as in other languages, but there there must be a natural way of doing it.

    1. It's the third house from the corner of the street.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with this sentence (technically speaking) but I would suggest a small change to make it sound better:

    It's the third house from the street corner.

    We assume you are standing somewhere close and point in the direction of that particular corner so people know which corner you're talking about. If it's an intersection we are talking about four corners, right?....

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