# Producing ordinal numbers

Is it possible to write this in fewer lines of code?

If you input an integer it will output it as an ordinal number if it is less than 100. The below code works perfectly, but I'm wondering if it could be written more succinctly.

def ordinal(self, num):
"""
Returns ordinal number string from int, e.g. 1, 2, 3 becomes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
"""
self.num = num
n = int(self.num)
if 4 <= n <= 20:
suffix = 'th'
elif n == 1 or (n % 10) == 1:
suffix = 'st'
elif n == 2 or (n % 10) == 2:
suffix = 'nd'
elif n == 3 or (n % 10) == 3:
suffix = 'rd'
elif n < 100:
suffix = 'th'
ord_num = str(n) + suffix
return ord_num

• Off topic (As this is a python question, not .net), But github.com/MehdiK/Humanizer has extension methods to do this kind of thing nicely e.g., 1.Ordinalize() == "1st" or "21".Ordinalize() == "21st" Feb 10, 2014 at 3:41
• Yes, it's possible: using num2words; def ordinal(num): num2words(num, to=ordinal_num, lang=en) Apr 17, 2018 at 12:28
• Fewer lines of code" is rarely a worthwhile objective; clear and efficient usually trump short. Oct 31, 2018 at 17:03

def ordinal(self, num):
"""
Returns ordinal number string from int, e.g. 1, 2, 3 becomes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
"""


Its suspicious that this seems to be a method rather than a free standing function.

    self.num = num


Why are you storing the input here? Given the purpose of this function that seems odd.

    n = int(self.num)


Its doubtful that this is a good idea. What are you converting from? Converting to int should be really be done closer to whether this number came from.

    if 4 <= n <= 20:


You've made this case larger than necessary, many of those would be correct even with out this test, and its not clear what so special about the range 4-20.

      suffix = 'th'
elif n == 1 or (n % 10) == 1:


You don't need the or. If n == 1, then that the second condition will be true anyways.

      suffix = 'st'
elif n == 2 or (n % 10) == 2:
suffix = 'nd'
elif n == 3 or (n % 10) == 3:
suffix = 'rd'
elif n < 100:
suffix = 'th'


What happens if suffix is >= 100? You'll get an error.

    ord_num = str(n) + suffix
return ord_num


You don't need to split this across two lines.

Here is my version:

# much code can be improved by using a datastructe.
SUFFIXES = {1: 'st', 2: 'nd', 3: 'rd'}
def ordinal(num):
# I'm checking for 10-20 because those are the digits that
# don't follow the normal counting scheme.
if 10 <= num % 100 <= 20:
suffix = 'th'
else:
# the second parameter is a default.
suffix = SUFFIXES.get(num % 10, 'th')
return str(num) + suffix

• You are right about this looking like a method. I actually had this as part of a class. I just pulled it out and pasted it here. I should have functionalized it. Sorry about that. Feb 10, 2014 at 4:57
• The n was used to simplify and reduce the number of characters from "self.num" to "n". 4 to 20 is special because it is a big block of 'th' suffixes. I actually saw that in an example I found in a tutorial. Feb 10, 2014 at 5:29
• here it is in one line (the implementation is identical): ordinal = lambda n: str(n) + {1: 'st', 2: 'nd', 3: 'rd'}.get(10<=n%100<=20 and n or n % 10, 'th')
– ejrb
Feb 10, 2014 at 13:54
• It's worth mentioning that opinions vary on doing calculations in the return. Many people (myself included) tend to prefer returning only results, although the shorter the function the less it tends to matter.
– DSM
Feb 10, 2014 at 16:25
• @DSM, out of curiosity, why? From my perspective it seems that assigning to a local just to return seems pointless. Feb 11, 2014 at 1:56

You can simplify the repeated n == 1 or (n % 10) == 1, as well as special-case test for 11th, 12th, and 13th, by using a ternary expression;

So:

i = n if (n < 20) else (n % 10)
if i == 1:
suffix = 'st'
elif i == 2:
suffix = 'nd'
elif i == 3:
suffix = 'rd'
elif n < 100:
suffix = 'th'


I think you can also use a dictionary:

suffixes = { 1: "st", 2: "nd", 3: "rd" }
i = n if (n < 20) else (n % 10)
if 0 < i <= 3:
suffix = suffixes[i]
elif n < 100:
suffix = 'th'


Or use dictionary get which lets you supply a default value:

suffixes = { 1: "st", 2: "nd", 3: "rd" }
i = n if (n < 20) else (n % 10)
suffix = suffixes.get(i, 'th')


Maybe you can reduce it to one line of code:

suffix = { 1: "st", 2: "nd", 3: "rd" }.get(n if (n < 20) else (n % 10), 'th')


(Beware the above may be buggy because I don't know Python).