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Ordinal numbers - is it 2e or 2eme ?


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Where one would say 'first, second, third' etc., I'm a little confused as to whether, in abbreviating them, one writes '2e' or 2ème', etc. I've seen both, but don't know the difference.

Someone told me that '2e' represents a rating, e.g. someone comes second in a race, whereas 2ème is used for a space, e.g. second floor.

Is this right, is there a definite rule, or is it not important and either can be used?

Thanks for all replies.
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The correct abbreviation is 1er (François 1er) or 1re (1re place) , 2e, 3e, 567e..., using superscript which does not show on this forum! [:D]

There is no difference when describing space, rating or any other type of ranking.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Clair,


When I asked the ladies at my English class about this distinction some years ago, the unswerving reply (unanimous) given was that “seconde” is the second of two only whereas deuxième is the word used  after the first, before the third etc.  Just like a line of empty Champagne bottles.   It sounded pretty reasonable to me.


The poignant example given me was the Second World War : “There’s not going to be a third WW” and I am defo not going there right now.  



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