Do you know what il tredicesimo secolo means? Well, it means the thirteenth century. This covers the years starting in 1200 and ending in 1299. Knowing how to refer to the centuries (i secoli) is a pretty important thing, if you are going to read about Italian culture and history, don’t you think so?
To do so, you will have to learn ordinal numbers. These are numbers, such as first, second, and so on, that allow you to indicate position, order, sequence, and things like that. Here are the first ten.
Note that these numbers are adjectives. You know what that means, don’t you? It means that yuo must change the ending according to the noun.
|il primo studente||the first student|
|la seconda persona||the second person|
Now, to form all other ordinal numbers all you have to do is to take the corresponding cardinal number (undici, dodici, and so on), dro the final vowel (undic-, dodic-, and so on) and simply add -esimo.
|and so on|
Are you familiar with Dante? Most Italians will tell you that il padre, the “father” of our language is Dante Alighieri, one of the supreme figures of world literature. Do you know in what century he wrote? It was in the 1300s, so he wrote in the quattordicesimo secolo. Another way we Italians refer to the century is to indicate the last three digits. In the case of the 1300s, the digits make up the number 300. So, that century is also called il Duecento (with a capital letter). This can be done from the 1200s right up to the twentieth century.
|1200s||il tredicesimo secolo||il Duecento|
|1300s||il quattordicesimo secolo||il Trecento|
|1900s||il ventesimo secolo||il Novecento|
|2000s||il ventunesimo secolo||il Duemila|
Achieve grammar mastery with this WRITTEN PRACTICE!
1. Click on the red link above (Google Documents will be opened).
2. Select FILE on the upper left side.
3. Select PRINT or SAVE.