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Ok, so these few are easy:

1st (first)
2nd (second)
3rd (third)
4th (fourth)

And all other ordinal numbers ending in 1, 2 or 3 have their respective values, except for 11th, 12th and 13th, as far as I'm concerned.

But when you reach numbers like 601st, what is the correct way to pronounce it?

These were options I was going over:

six hundred and first
six hundred first
six hundred and oneth (final thought)

So, which one is it? None of them sound 100% right. Have I missed the correct one out completely? Please help.

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ah, thanks for the edit –  think123 Sep 13 '12 at 7:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The pronunciation appears to differ by dialect.

In British English, it's definitely six hundred and first.

American English appears to drop the and in such numbers where BrE includes it, and is presumably six hundred first.

Either audience would understand the other.

It is definitely not *oneth, just as 1st is itself not *oneth.

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I think it's the same in AmE. –  Noah Sep 13 '12 at 7:08
@Noah I'm sure I've heard "six hundred first", but I may have been mistaken. The US will wake up in a couple of hours' time... –  Andrew Leach Sep 13 '12 at 7:11
Back in the early seventies, my grade school teacher drilled into us that, "there is only 1 and and it goes at the decimal point as in six hundred one and 5 tenths", thus 601 would be six hundred one. HOWEVER I still say six hundred and one as does most everyone I know. So six hundred and first here is common in AmE too. –  Jim Sep 13 '12 at 7:48
In AmE, we consider the "and" as optional. –  Peter Shor May 17 at 15:08

It's six hundred and first. For 602nd, you should say six hundred and second and so on and on.

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It is NEVER correct to use the word "and" in saying a number EXCEPT at a decimal point.

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It is incorrect to drop the word "and" in "six hundred and one" in British English. See the dictionary or read the other answers. –  Peter Shor May 17 at 15:09
The "and" poses the question "and what?" For 601 1/4, do you say "six hundred and one and one quarter"? Pretty awkward. –  user121952 May 17 at 15:22
@user121952 As a native British speaker, I would say "Six hundred and one and a quarter". Dropping either of the two "ands" would definitely be incorrect in British English. Further, I don't understand your "and what?" Isn't it obvious? "I have six hundred and one and a quarter apples" means "I have six hundred apples, and I have one more apple, and I have a quarter of an apple, too." –  David Richerby May 17 at 15:28
Welcome to the ELU :-). Aside from being incorrect this answer has another problem: it's opinion based and as such it is more of a comment than an answer. –  Lucky May 17 at 15:41
The question was not what pronunciation is logical, but what pronunciation is correct. –  Peter Shor May 17 at 15:42

protected by Mitch May 17 at 16:41

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