Let's say my friend's just arrived in New York 4 days ago. I could ask him "How many days have you been in New York?", and he would answer me something like "4 days." But if I want him to answer me, "This is my fourth day in New York."

  1. What are the natural ways to ask for that kind of answer?
  2. Do people say "This is your what day in NY?"?

PS: I've read these two posts about the same topic but I want to know about this specific usage and I'm not sure whether I should ask this inside the posts or not, so I decided to start a new post. Asking the position of a person in a sequence, How to ask a question which implies an ordinal number as an answer?.

  • 3
    Sorry, but I think this is a duplicate of Asking the position of a person in a sequence. The short answer is we don't have a word in English (short of ad-hoc coinages like what'th) for such a construction, so we don't use that format. We'd just ask How long / How many days have you been in New York? Just as we don't ask This is your what'th birthday? - we ask How old are you? Jun 20, 2019 at 15:51
  • I know you've given the link to other potential dupes, but have you read them thoroughly? I think they sufficiently answer this.
    – Gamora
    Jun 20, 2019 at 15:51
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    Out of curiosity, why would you specifically desire an ordinal response? It seems unusual to care about, reminding me of the game show Jeopardy requiring an answer to be in the form of a question.
    – RichF
    Jun 20, 2019 at 15:57
  • Thank you for your answers. I got it now. I understand that a word/sentence in one language doesn't always have an exact equivalent in another but sometimes I can't help making a comparison. @RichF In Thai and Japanese, both formats can be used. It's just a matter of preference. I do understand that both formats basically mean the same but the feelings are a little different and that's why sometimes I prefer to say one over the other. Jun 21, 2019 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


You wouldn't.

You got all the same info (four days vs my fourth day) by asking the question normally, so it shouldn't really be surprising that there isn't a simple, easy, comfortable way to force someone into answering in an unusual manner.

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