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What's the interrogative for numerical order?

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What's the interrogative for numerical order?

Postby mingshey » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:23 am

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Postby Twpsyn » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:12 pm

In English you can say 'which in order', though that sounds stilted. 'Which' works too, I guess. There is no word that fills the gap precisely. I don't know about Greek.
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Re: What's the interrogative for numerical order?

Postby annis » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:56 pm

mingshey wrote:How do you ask a question when you want to know the numerical order of something in a sequence or succession, in English, and in Greek?


Greek, of course, does have this. :) You almost got it: πόστος.

I'm disappointed in Smyth for this. He should say something about this word in his section on numerals, I'd think. I had to resort to Kühner.
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Postby mingshey » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:43 pm

Great thanks! I'm happy to learn that Greek has the word for it. :D

But it doesn't sem to be retained in Modern Greek. Or had some other word taken its place? Or it's almost out of use that the editors held it from the dictionary?

-----------

I understand that in English you don't ask much about order of something, or you must have invented -- or retained -- some simple word for it.

I first thought of "what -- by order", but "by order" meant a totally different thing. "-- by sequence" or "-- by succession" sounded something remote.

So,
"Which president in order is Lincoln?"
would be okay for that?
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Postby Bert » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:51 am

The how-many-eth president is Lincoln?

Everyone would understand it but I would not call it book English.
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Postby mingshey » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:46 am

I see. Browsing my German dictionary I found that in German they say "wievielte" or "wievielste(expecting more than 20)", literally meaning "how-many-eth". I wonder if there wasn't an Anglo-Saxon equivalent?
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Postby ThomasGR » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:44 am

In modern Greek one has to be more descriptive when asking the numerical order. Like Ποιας διαδοχής είναι, ποιας κατάταξης.
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Postby ingrid70 » Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:14 am

In Dutch we can say 'hoeveelste' as in German. I've always considered it a lack in the language of the English, who have more different numbers than names as it comes to kings, that you can't easily say: Henry the so-many-eth (Henry de zoveelste) when you're not sure which of the eight it is.

Checking my English history ruler:
William I-IV
Henry I-VIII
Stephen (just one)
Richard I-III
John (also just one)
Edward I-VII
James I-II
Charles I-II
George I-VI

OK, I admit, 9 names, up to number 8...

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