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msn.niyasu
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2011 4:31:03 PM
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if i ask what is the place of Rajiv ghadi among the list of people who served as Prime Ministers of India, i will get answer as 6th

my question is how do i ask the same question in short so that i will get the same answer. since i couldnt find any word like " how many th" what you suggest

thar
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2011 4:47:57 PM

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this has come up before, there is no simple answer, just lots of different ways of saying this.

search the old threads in this forum for "how manyth".

manyth is not a word in English, but it is used in the threads about this, so searching for it will get you to the threads you need.
RuthP
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2011 5:22:30 PM

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Yup, English is completely lacking this useful term. I wonder if we could start a trend.

"Which" usually gets you closest to the answer you wish, but you must provide the context. The question "Which president is Obama?" can get vastly different answers:

In a meeting of many heads of state: "He is the second from the left." Or: "He is the U.S. president."

If you are just speaking of the U.S.: "He is the current president." Or: "he is the first African-American president."

But, if you were to say "George Washington was the first president and Thomas Jefferson was the third. Which president is Barack Obama?" The answer would be "He is the forty-fourth (president)."
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2011 6:27:40 PM

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Search also for "manieth" and "whichth" ;-)

What is the ordinal number of Obama as President of United States?
The least clumsy way to ask "How manyth..." in English. The lack of this word is one of the mysteries in this language.



In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 11:24:13 AM

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Ooh, ooh, but I must say, in casual conversation one can hear people say "manyeth". It is always a joke, always known to be not-a-word, but nonetheless, it is definitely understood.
mohican
Posted: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 5:05:26 PM

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What about this: "Which president is Obama in the line of the USA presidents?"

When I split an infinitive, god damn it, I split it so it stays split. Raymond Chandler
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 5:53:51 PM

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mohican wrote:
What about this: "Which president is Obama in the line of the USA presidents?"


This question does not bring you the answer as 44th.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
mohican
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 6:55:53 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
mohican wrote:
What about this: "Which president is Obama in the line of the USA presidents?"


This question does not bring you the answer as 44th.


It was a tentative question, so I agree that it doesn't have to bring about the intended answer.

When I split an infinitive, god damn it, I split it so it stays split. Raymond Chandler
thar
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 7:23:49 AM

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I think you need the word chronological for this type of question, because people can be listed or ranked in so many different ways.
Where does x come in the chronological list of yyys.

Clumsy, but then again, apart from Americans, who have this weird quirk of numbering their presidents, is this a much-asked type of question? I have never asked it in my life, and do not envision ever needing to! Normally your intent is clear from the context of the question anyway.
mohican
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:18:00 AM

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thar wrote:
I think you need the word chronological for this type of question, because people can be listed or ranked in so many different ways.
Where does x come in the chronological list of yyys.

Clumsy, but then again, apart from Americans, who have this weird quirk of numbering their presidents, is this a much-asked type of question? I have never asked it in my life, and do not envision ever needing to! Normally your intent is clear from the context of the question anyway.


Thanks for your useful reply. M.

When I split an infinitive, god damn it, I split it so it stays split. Raymond Chandler
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:32:48 AM

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thar wrote:
I think you need the word chronological for this type of question, because people can be listed or ranked in so many different ways.
Where does x come in the chronological list of yyys.

Clumsy, but then again, apart from Americans, who have this weird quirk of numbering their presidents, is this a much-asked type of question? I have never asked it in my life, and do not envision ever needing to! Normally your intent is clear from the context of the question anyway.


"I ran the Boston Marathon last week."
"How manyth were you?"


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Alias
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:35:23 AM

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In Italy you just say was he the corrupt PM, the incompetent PM, the one after or before the corrupt PM or the one after or before the incompetent PM or the one that cant keep his dick in his pants....and BTW why cant Italy elect a Female PM ...Its about time!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ciao
A

I think its about time chickens are able to cross the road without constantly having their motives challenged!
Alias
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:37:14 AM

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In Italy you just say was he the corrupt PM, the incompetent PM, the one after or before the corrupt PM or the one after or before the incompetent PM or the one that cant keep his dick in his pants....and BTW why cant Italy elect a Female PM ...Its about time!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ciao
A

I think its about time chickens are able to cross the road without constantly having their motives challenged!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:39:10 AM

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Did you get a hiccup, Alias?


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 9:39:57 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
thar wrote:
I think you need the word chronological for this type of question, because people can be listed or ranked in so many different ways.
Where does x come in the chronological list of yyys.

Clumsy, but then again, apart from Americans, who have this weird quirk of numbering their presidents, is this a much-asked type of question? I have never asked it in my life, and do not envision ever needing to! Normally your intent is clear from the context of the question anyway.


"I ran the Boston Marathon last week."
"How manyth were you?"


extremely *****manyth by the end, mate! But no less than I deserve for being insane enough to run a marathon!
etrusca
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:30:44 AM

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Alias wrote:
In Italy you just say was he the corrupt PM, the incompetent PM, the one after or before the corrupt PM or the one after or before the incompetent PM or the one that cant keep his dick in his pants....and BTW why cant Italy elect a Female PM ...Its about time!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ciao
A


You are the first one able to find a convenience in our beloved PM behaviour, LOL!
Probably, after B's death Italy 'll elect his daughter as PM (the idea gives me the creeps).
Ciao
msn.niyasu
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 4:59:55 PM
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Dear friends, one of my lecturer told me i can ask this question like this "What is the rank of succession of Rajiv Ghandi as Prime minister of India?" what you think....
Etcheparre
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 4:50:50 AM

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It's hard to say honestly.

If you were to ask me this question, out of the blue and out of context, I really wouldn't know what to answer; what does the "rank of succession" even mean? Succession to whom?

However, if you were to ask me this question, in context, I'd probably understand what you were trying to say and would probably answer "The whatever-th"; but then again, in context, if you were to ask me "Which Prime minister of India was Rajiv Ghandi?", I'd probably answer "The whatever-th" as well, so you might as well stick to the conventional question...

In other words, in my opinion, asking the question that way doesn't guarantee the answer you want and doesn't really change the fact that you need a context in order to obtain the desired answer. And since you need a context, you might as well use the conventional "which" instead of talking about "rank of succession"...

This again, is just my opinion; as everyone stated above, it's a tough question...

Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
thar
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 4:55:56 AM

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Surely, the number of someone's succession, is not very useful to know, unless everyone also knows who the adjoining ones are. Dates are more useful as, if you know anything about the subject, you know who was in office on the surrounding dates, and if you don't know so much about the subject, at least you get the general time frame.

Knowing someone is twentieth president, premier etc, is a number rather useless in isolation. Premier 1987-91 etc gives loads more information, as far as I can see!
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:07:53 AM

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msn.niyasu wrote:
Dear friends, one of my lecturer told me i can ask this question like this "What is the rank of succession of Rajiv Ghandi as Prime minister of India?" what you think....

I think you can ask this. It may seem slightly awkward, but I bet most reasonable people would understand the meaning and it is certainly more succinct than the other alternatives we have found.
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