This article is focused on ordinal numerals in the Chinese language, which are understood as numerals denoting the order and sequence of things and phenomena. The morphological indicators of order in Chinese numerals are such prefixes as dì , tóu , chū , and lǎo , the first one being the most widespread. Marking an ordinal numeral with a prefix is a relatively new phenomenon in Chinese. Sometimes numerals having no formal indicator of order fulfil the ordinal function. The prefixless way of ordering is used to enumerate years, relatives, the order children are born in a family, the order of monarchs, classes, grades and sorts, buildings and floors, bus routes, organizational structures and organizational units, exercises, pieces of writing (Literary works) and articles, as well as books. On the basis of the theory of oppositions, this paper maintains that such numerals are cardinal. The choice between the use and non-use of a prefix largely depends on the corresponding noun. In addition, the symbols belonging to the two sets of characters - the Heavenly Stems and the Earthly Branches (the periodic signs) - often function as ordinal numerals while enumerating scores, Literary characters, grades, organizational structures, time of the day, and years according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The division into cardinal and ordinal numerals is not applicable to these numerals as they can only be ordinal. A.A. Dragunov has his own view on the theory of ordinal numerals in Chinese. In light of his theory about the full and short forms of Chinese numerals, the former are used with a count word while the latter, without it. Full-form numerals are unable to carry out the ordinal function without a prefix. Conversely, short-form numerals need no prefix to express the ordinal meaning.