Is it possible to express a number of something by placing the cardinal after the noun? I know the concept of postpositives, like snow galore etc. but does this apply to cardinals? E.g. you can say walking on four legs, but would it be possible to say walking on legs four? Would it sound poetic/archaic or just plain wrong?

EDIT: After Andrew's comment - I am talking here about expressing the quantity of things. I.e. a situation, where there is a plural form of a noun and then a cardinal, like the above legs four as opposed to Andrew's platform four, which would be just saying the numeral.

  • The train now arriving on platform four...
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 8:54
  • 1
    well, yeah, but I think here it is only saying the numeral out loud - and I'm talking about expressing quantity
    – mz8i
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 8:56
  • "He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl, and he called for his fiddlers three." But that's poetry from several centuries ago. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 9:54
  • Ocean's Eleven. Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 10:19
  • Sif of the Warriors Three: marvel-movies.wikia.com/wiki/Warriors_Three
    – Ronan
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


In English, quantity is expressed before the noun. Any other use in usual circumstances would be considered intentionally aberrant or just incorrect.

In poetry or other writing which allows license, it could be done. For example, googling my sisters three will reveal a book title and lines from a poem (My older sister - of my sisters three); all others show the normal usage (My sister's three year old twins are running around...)


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