Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to over the pronunciation of the ordinal numbers 1-10: first, second, third, and so on. I've made a series of videos on How to pronounce Cardinal numbers: 1, 2, 3. In this video we'll go over ordinal numbers. First, first. It begins with the F consonant sound, where the bottom lip will come up and touch here, ff, ff, the bottom of the top front teeth. Then we have the UR vowel. The UR vowel gives some people trouble because they think there needs to be a vowel sound before an R consonant. But think of the UR vowel as the vowel version of the R sound. It's always written in IPA with the R consonant sound coming after it, but it's just one sound, rrr, fir-. The tongue draws up and back for this, right up at the roof of the mouth, either touching the roof of the mouth on the sides, or the bottom/insides of the top teeth. So you want to go straight from the F sound to the R sound: fff-rrr. A good way to test this is to make sure you're not doing a big jaw drop, that's a sign that you're trying to put in a different kind of vowel sound, fir-. Then we end with the ST consonant cluster. So the teeth come together, the tongue tip goes down, sss. A trick here is rather than raising your tongue tip up for the T, you can leave the tip down, then push the part of the tongue just behind the tip to the roof of the mouth, to cut off the air. To release the T, and let the air flow continue, just pull the tongue back down, first, first. Let the teeth part a little bit for the air to release. First. The word 'second' begins with the S consonant sound. Then the EH as in BED vowel, so the jaw has to drop a good bit, se-, se-. The next syllable is unstressed, so it will be fast. SEH-knd, -knd, -knd. We have the K consonant sound, and the schwa/N sound, so the N takes over the schwa. You don't need to worry about making it a separate sound, and finally the D sound. Second, second. Third. This begins with the unvoiced TH sound, so the tongue tip must come just through the teeth. Th, th, third. Then we have the UR vowel / R consonant sounds, just like in the word FIRST. Fiiiiirst, thiiiiiird. So don't let your jaw drop. Then, a light D sound to finish. Third, dd, third. And now we're at the point where they all end in an unvoiced TH --- until we get up to twenty-first. So, fourth begins with the F consonant, just like 'first', where the bottom lip comes up and lightly touches the bottom of the top front teeth, ff. You have two options for the vowel sound, either the AW as in LAW, or the OH as in NO diphthong, which is what I use. At any rate, unlike 'first', where we have the UR vowel then the R sound, here we do need some jaw drop to make the shape of either the AW as in LAW vowel, or the OH as in NO sound, before the tongue pulls back and up for the R consonant sound, fourth. And then, we finish with the unvoiced TH, where the front part of the tongue comes just out of the teeth, not too far, and air lightly passes through. Fourth. Fifth -- we've got a lot of unvoiced consonants in this one. We again start with the F consonant, fff. Then the IH as in SIT vowel, where we have a little bit of jaw drop, fi-, and the tongue tip says down while the front part of the tongue stretches up and forward towards the front part of the roof of the mouth, fi-. Then we have the F and unvoiced TH sounds, fifth. This can be a little tricky. First, you need to bring the bottom lip up to the top teeth, ff, then, while you continue to let air out, you drop the lip and let the tip of the tongue through the teeth. FFTHFFTH. Fifth, fifth. You might sometimes hear a native speaker simplify this by dropping the F before the TH: 'fith', 'fith'. Sixth -- again, a lot of unvoiced consonants. We start with the S sound, tongue tip down, teeth together. SS. Then the IH as in SIT vowel with a little jaw drop. Si-. Now we have the K, S and TH sounds together. They are all unvoiced, so we're just passing air through, no engagement of the vocal cords. The K: tongue tip stays where it was for the IH, lightly touching behind the bottom front teeth. The back part of the tongue reaches up and touches the soft palate here, the back part of the roof of the mouth, and pulls away. As it pulls away, the teeth come together, again the tongue tips stays where it is for the S. Then the tongue tip simply moves up a bit so that it can come just though the teeth. ksth. ksth. Just practice that on its own, and don't rush it, ksth. Sixth, sixth. Seventh. Just like 'second', stress in on the first syllable. So the second will shorter, flatter, and lower in pitch, seventh. We begin with the S consonant sound and EH vowel, just like 'second', so make sure you're dropping your jaw enough for that EH vowel. Then we have the V, which looks just like all these F's we've been talking about, only it's voiced, so the vocal chords are engaged, making a sound. Sev-, seventh. Then we have the schwa/N sound, And the N takes over the schwa, so you don't need to worry about making it a separate sound, -ven, -ven, -ven. And finally, the unvoiced TH. Usually, the tongue tip lifts to the roof of the mouth for the N. But, a shortcut: You can actually bring the tip of the tongue just through the teeth and press the part just behind it to the roof of the mouth for the N. So not the tip. That way your tongue doesn't really need to change positions between those two sounds. Seventh, seventh. Eighth. -- This one's pretty simple. The AY diphthong and the unvoiced TH. Eighth. The biggest mistake my students make with the AY diphthong is that they don't drop their jaw enough for the first sound. Eighth. And of course, the unvoiced TH, where the tongue tip comes through the teeth. Eighth, eighth. Ninth. This begins with the N consonant sound. The flat, top part of the tongue is up at the roof of the mouth. NN. Then we have the AI as in BUY diphthong, again a common issue is not to drop the jaw enough. So make sure you do, ni-. Then for the second half of the diphthong, the tongue tip stays down while the front part of the tongue stretches up towards the front part of the roof of the mouth, ni-, ni-. Then again the N / TH sound just as in 'seventh'. Ninth, ninth. Tenth. We start here with a True T sound: ttt. Tongue tip is at the roof of the mouth, teeth are together, the air is stopped. Then the tongue tip pulls down, the teeth part, and the air is released. TTeh -- the EH vowel, just as in 'second' and 'seventh', we need jaw drop, te-, te-. And then again, the NTH ending. Tenth, tenth. So there you have it, ordinal numbers 1-10. We had a lot of consonant clusters, lots of ending TH to practice. I hope this helps. Practice your English. Make up a sentence that includes an ordinal number. Record yourself saying it, and post it as a video response to this video on YouTube. I can't wait to watch. That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English!