In my Collins Grammar book, it says that another can in ways be an ordinal number. I understand how next or last can be ordinal numbers because they point to something in an ordered sequence. Instead of saying "The second place winner is..." I can say "The next winner is..." But I don't fully understand how "another" can be an ordinal.

Please include examples, thank you!

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    Doesn't it work the same way as next? Give me an item...and the next...and another... Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 9:31
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    Thank you so much for your comment! The way you simply explained it with an example was perfect. I just couldn't understand it before, but now that you gave a real life example, it makes total sense. Cheers. (Edit: feel free to repost as an answer and I can select it.)
    – Sam
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 9:34
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    I suggest you get another grammar book!
    – BillJ
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 10:12
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    @BillJ Are you saying that another cannot function as a ordinal number or that the book should have explained it better? Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 10:15
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    @KillingTime Another in your sentence doesn't necessarily mean the next item waiting to be given (although obviously it will be the next you give); it could be any item still ungiven. In that case, it is not functioning in the same way as next.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


I assume this is what is meant by "ordinal number"


I. A second, further, additional.

1. One more, one further; originally a second of two things; subsequently extended to anything additional or remaining beyond those already considered; an additional.

b. with n. not expressed. (Pl. others.)

2021 The Butterfly Garden: By Sophie Anderson

‘Here, let me,’ Erin said, tipping a white tablet into Maggie’s hand.

'I need two, give me another.’ Erin tipped the second pill into her palm and held onto the bottom of the glass as Maggie took it to her lips.*

However, in the broader sense, you can see the parallel between "Give me a third... a fourth... a fifth... another."

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