Is It Forty or *Fourty? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

Forty (40) is a cardinal number (i.e., a number used to indicate quantity). Like other words for numbers, it can be grammatically classified as a determiner, adjective, noun, or pronoun.

‘Fourty’ is sometimes used instead of forty, but this is incorrect. Although ‘four’ is the correct spelling of 4, ‘fourty’ is not a real word and should be avoided. The same applies when forty is used as part of a larger number (e.g., ‘forty-four’, ‘one-hundred-forty’).

Examples: Forty and fourty in a sentence
  • The train was delayed by fourty minutes.
  • The train was delayed by forty minutes.
  • Fourty is divisible by four.
  • Forty is divisible by four.

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How to use forty in a sentence

Like all cardinal numbers, forty can be used as a determiner (specifically a quantifier) to modify or describe a noun. It can also be used as a noun when referring to the number itself or as a pronoun when it refers to a previously mentioned noun.

Example: Forty in a sentence
My grandfather worked for the same company for forty years.

Forty is a whole number.

Karla invited eighty guests but only forty showed up to the party.

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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

Frequently asked questions

How do I pronounce forty?

Forty has two syllables. It’s pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable: [for-tee]. In US English, the ‘tee’ may sound more like ‘dee’ [for-dee].

Are numbers adjectives?

Cardinal numbers (e.g., one, two, three) can be placed before a noun to indicate quantity (e.g., one apple). While these are sometimes referred to as ‘numeral adjectives‘, they are more accurately categorised as determiners or quantifiers.

Is it fourty-five or forty-five?

Forty-five is the correct spelling. While ‘fourty’ is sometimes used instead of forty, ‘fourty’ is not a real word and should be avoided.

Is it forty or fourty dollars?

Forty dollars is correct. Forty is the correct spelling of the cardinal number used to indicate a quantity of something. ‘Fourty’ is sometimes used instead of forty, but this is incorrect.

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Ryan, E. (2023, March 14). Is It Forty or *Fourty? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 10 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/common-errors/fourty-or-forty/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.