Ordinal vs Cardinal numbers - Differences between French and English usages

Look at these names of kings, queens, popes:

Le pape Benoît seize a démissionné.Pope Benedict the sixteenth resigned.

Elisabeth deux est la reine d'Angleterre.Elisabeth the second is queen of England.

Louis quatorze était surnommé Le Roi Soleil.Louis the fourteenth's nickname was The Sun King.

Notice that cardinal numbers (deux, trois, quatre...) are used for royalty where ordinals (second, third, fourth...) are used in English, except for 1st = Ier / premier:

François Ier protégea Léonard de Vinci.François I protected Leonardo Da Vinci.
 

ATTENTION:
In French, you have two different words to express third: you use the fractional number tiers (masculine) or tierce (feminine) to express a fraction, a portion of something (= one third of), and you use the ordinal number troisième to express a rank or an order (= third out of).
Nous devons utiliser une tierce personne comme témoin.We must use a third party as a witness.

Il y a beaucoup de pauvreté dans le Tiers-Monde.There is a lot of poverty in Third World countries.

J'ai bu un tiers de la bouteille.I drank a third of the bottle.

versus

Je suis arrivé troisième du marathon.I came third in the marathon.

Mon troisième enfant est né en septembre.My third child was born in September.

 

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Examples and resources

Louis onze était un bon roi.Louis the eleventh was a good king.
Elisabeth deux est la reine d'Angleterre.Elisabeth the second is queen of England.
Louis quatorze était surnommé Le Roi Soleil.Louis the fourteenth's nickname was The Sun King.
François Ier protégea Léonard de Vinci.François I protected Leonardo Da Vinci.
J'ai bu un tiers de la bouteille.I drank a third of the bottle.
Je suis arrivé troisième du marathon.I came third in the marathon.
Mon troisième enfant est né en septembre.My third child was born in September.
Nous devons utiliser une tierce personne comme témoin.We must use a third party as a witness.
Le pape Benoît seize a démissionné.Pope Benedict the sixteenth resigned.

tiers/tierce


Il y a beaucoup de pauvreté dans le Tiers-Monde.There is a lot of poverty in Third World countries.
Let me take a look at that...