Four Ways To Count

Think there's only one way to count? Probably not. But in either case here are a few methods we use each day.

Cardinal numbers are numbers like one, two, three, and four.

Ordinal numbers are numbers like first, second, third, and fourth.

This set of numbers doesn't even have a name: primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary.

This set of numbers is rather short: Once, Twice, Thrice. They are adverbs.

Once and twice are equally modern-sounding, and thrice definitely is old-fashioned. But according to the Middle English dictionary from the University of Michigan website, "foure" (sense 5) was sometimes used to mean "four times."

Thrice is so old that if you use it people will think you're playing Dungeons & Dragons. But foure is so old if you use it people will be like "What?" I went to the trouble of graphing these connotations:

This doesn't affect me personally so who cares.