# Term to describe relationship between one and single, two and double, etc.?

Is there a specific term used to describe the relationship between the words:

• One and single,
• Two and double,
• Three and triple,
• Etc.

I don't quite think that the term synonym fits here, and was wondering if there was a more specific term.

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## 2 Answers

The terms are "Cardinal" and "Ordinal" and "Distributive". `One, two, three`, etc. are "Cardinal Numbers." `First, second, third`, etc. are "Ordinal Numbers" (which tell Order). "Distributive Numbers" tell how many of each like `Singly,Doubly,Triply` and `Single,Double,Triple`.

We often get the various -nary terms like `binary, ternary, and quaternary` from Latin distributive numbers (bini, terni, quaterni, quini, seni, etc.), with the exception of `unary` which comes from their cardinal number one (unus) as opposed to their distributive number one (singuli, which is where singular, single, singularity, etc. come from). Words like `primary, secondary, and tertiary` usually come from their ordinal numbers (primus, secundus, tertius, quartus, quintus, etc.).

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Excellent description, thanks! I knew there had to be a concise and accurate term to describe this relationship. Thanks – Scott Mitchell May 9 '11 at 15:55

You could say the latter is derivative of the former.

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Why the downvote? Even if not the best word, it's still in the ball park. And this word actually answers the OP's question directly, the -relationship- between the words. – Mitch May 9 '11 at 16:43
@Mitch: Thanks. I was wondering the same. I've been getting some targeted downvotes recently, usually right after I answer, and with no explanation. – Callithumpian May 9 '11 at 17:07
that -500 looks more like a rescinded bounty than 50 downvotes. The only way I've ever seen a targeted downvote is when...well if I explain it, it might encourage more! In a different direction, I have accidentally downvoted someone without realizing it, and until they edit their answer, I can't change it back. – Mitch May 9 '11 at 17:44
@Mitch: Yeah, the -500 is a pending bounty. I was referring to the series of -2's. – Callithumpian May 9 '11 at 17:55