In the following sentences, what single word can I use to summarize the ordinal numbers second, third, fourth, etc.?

When you take your second, third, fourth, etc. flu shot, call me.

If you have your second, third, fourth, etc. dessert, you might get a stomach ache.

When you have your second, third, fourth, etc. child, avail of this family planning class.

I've looked at this related question but the words subsequent, later, other, and contender do not seem to fit this context.

In particular, taking the first example, using "subsequent" changes the object to plural.

When you take your subsequent flu shots, call me.

I'm looking for a word that keeps it in singular form as I am not referring to the whole set of flu shots after the first one, but rather to the specific second, or third, or fourth, etc. instance of that flu shot.

  • Your second sentence is quite strange. It does not sound like natural English. When should probably be if, if you’re talking about having several different desserts with one meal (e.g., first cake, then ice cream). If you’re talking about having helping yourself to several servings of a single dessert (having a piece of cake, then another, then another), you wouldn’t say “your second dessert”. You’d most likely say something like, “You may get a stomach ache if you have extra helpings of dessert”. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 9:29
  • 3
    Also, you can use subsequent with singulars: “When you take any subsequent flu shot, call me” or “Call me whenever you take any subsequent flu shot” are both perfectly fine. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 9:31
  • 2
    "Next" or "another" works for the three sentences you give.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 9:35
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I've updated it to use "if." I'm just curious if I can keep the structure of this sentence, changing only the ordinals. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 9:35
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    @markovchain - Neither "next' nor "another" precludes the possibility that there was more than one predecessor to the current iteration...
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


You need to ditch using "your" in the latter example, then use a general article instead (a/another/each). That immediately remedies the need to use the plural object (you already have "you" as the subject).

When you take a/another/each subsequent flu shot, call me.

You can then consider using "successive" or "sequential" as alternative words denoting a generic second-third-fourth etc. These work fine the flu shot and with the other examples as well.

When you take a/another/each successive flu shot, call me.



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