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French Number Expressions

There are several confusing pairs and difficult expressions related to French numbers. I. The numbering system of the floors in a building may be difficult for American English speakers. American English Rez-de-chausse Premier tage Deuxime tage First floor Second floor Third floor British English Ground floor First floor Second floor

II. The meaning of premier changes depending on the preposition that precedes it. Au premier Au premier tage En premier En premier lieu De premier/premire (prix, qualit) At/On the first On the second floor The first in a sequence In the first place, Firstly The top (prize) or best (quality) On the first floor

III.There are two French words for the English ordinal number "second" (2nd): second anddeuxime. They are essentially interchangeable, but there is a general, not always followed guideline: Second is often used when something is the second in a series of only two things. Deuxime tends to be used when there's a third, fourth, etc. Following this guideline allows you to add some interesting nuances to your words. La seconde guerre mondiale La deuxime guerre mondiale World War II (the second and last) World War II (the second of how many?)

IV. There are two words for "third" and "fourth" - one for the ordinal number and another for the fraction. troisime un tiers quatrime third (in a series) one third fourth (in a series)

un quart one fourth For 5 and up, the same word is used for both fractions and ordinal numbers.