How to ask a question to get an ordinal number(3rd, 4th, 8th etc)as answer?

At the very outset let me make it amply clear that the styles of expression among various languages differ considerably. Native speakers will express their ideas( sometimes with a lot of regional slangs) in such a way that is easily and clearly understood among themselves.  Their expressions cannot be translated word for word to get the expected idea/ meaning by the people of other nationalities.  I have come across a lot of people asking for clarifications in the above case.  I would venture to outline it which, I believe, should clarify your doubts to some extent.


Example:-  ” I am the 4th son of my parents.”  (How will you frame a question to get an answer for the above?) Now you can ask like:

  • How many sons do your parents have? , which one are you?
  • Answer : I am the 4th son of my parents. ( according to the different situations, there can be variations in the answers depending on what is asked for).
  • Which one are you?
  • I am the engineer, now working in Cognizant.
  • I am the doctor, at Mission Hospital.
  • I am the shop-keeper,  I am the sportsman etc etc. ( Thus the word ‘WHICH’ will decide what is asked for).
  • Thus :- ” If E.M.S.Namboodiripad  was the first Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan is which one?
  • OR (in a roundabout way) ” Where does Pinarayi Vijayan fall in the sequence of Kerala Chief Ministers?”
  • OR ” Which one is Pinarayi Vijayan among Kerala Chief Ministers?”

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