There is a number symbol # so that when you put it in front of a number, it tells that the number is an ordinal number. E.g., #6 means "number 6".

Is there a symbol like that for cardinal numbers? E.g., if put in front of 23, it should mean "23 in total" or "23 counts".

The following is my use case. It may not be necessary to understand my question.

I have a lot of numbers displayed aside of tags. Some tags have ordinal numbers and others have cardinal numbers. I want to make them distinguishable between ordinal or cardinal. I did to things: (i) write the cardinal number before the tag whereas write the ordinal number after the tag, (ii) put the number symbol # in front of an ordinal number. Examples are like this:

Example of a tag with ordinary number

[Foo #1] [Foo #2] ... [Foo #23]
[Bar #1] [Bar #2] ... [Bar #17]

Example of a tag with cardinal number

[23 Foo] [17 Bar]

I want to put some symbol in front of these cardinal numbers.

  • 1
    I think "[Foo x23] [Bar x17]", ie a small x to imply "times" is what is generally used. IF I understood correctly. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 9:41
  • @VilleNiemi That can be an answer.
    – sawa
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 9:49
  • [23x Foo] [17x Bar] might also work. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 9:51
  • Can you give some more context to the examples? Symbols like à or á are also used for cardinal numbers.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 10:00
  • Also are different languages/cultures a concern? Because there might be other ways or symbols for presenting these numbers.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


The most common way to do this is by representing the count rather than have a symbol for cardinal numbers. Some ways of doing this are:

  • Foo x23
  • Foo (23)
  • 23 Foo(s)

Personally I like the visual clarity of Foo (23) but you're probably safer going with Foo x23


I think "n=" might work, as borrowed from how sample sizes are usually abbreviated when statistical tests/results are presented.

Also "Σ=" might work although for a sum to be proper, people might require of it that the values summed are capable of taking on values other than just 1. Technically though, of course, a count just is a sum, too.

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