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How do you ask a question whose answer is n-th (the order that is).

For example, how can I convert the sentence "I was the fourth to get a copy" into a question where the answer is "I was the fourth". There isn't a straightforward way of doing so in English -- "Among those who got a copy, are you the first, second or what?" -- and I suppose it may also be the case in French.

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I asked the question out of curiosity, considering that in many Asian languages there are actually question words for "what order" or "what n-th". –  FrenchNoob Jul 8 '12 at 2:56
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1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Quantième is in theory the correct term, but it's high literary at best these days. Although it may not be recognized by dictionaries, combientième will be understood by everyone. e.g. "7 milliards d’humains sur Terre. Et vous, vous êtes le combientième ?"

Le quantième est-tu qui ait eu une copie ? (literary, might give a native speaker pause, at least in France)
Tu étais le combientième à avoir une copie ? (common spoken French, less common in writing)

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Wow that's interesting. English definitely doesn't have an equivalent for that. –  FrenchNoob Jul 8 '12 at 7:50
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