Forty is the proper spelling of the number 40 in all English varieties despite four having the letter u. Thus, it’s false when people think fourty is a British spelling. In short, forty is correct, and fourty is incorrect. Moreover, fourty doesn’t exist in any dictionaries, and it’s always unacceptable in any writing.)
Forty is commonly mistaken as fourty due to “u” from the number “four”, but language doesn’t operate like that. Additionally, it may be “ill-formed but accepted spelling,” as the American English Spelling author D.W. Cummings calls it. Even if it seems “logical” to spell it as “fourty,” the accepted spelling is forty – without the letter u.
How Did Fourty Become Forty?
For ages, forty had varied spellings, and the current spelling dates back only to the 16th century. The word originated from the Old English word feowertig, from feower “four.” Today, modern English brought us many options from its many spellings, but the winner’s forty.
There was never “fourty.” And no, forty didn’t come from fourty. The original Old English word just evolved into “forty.” Hence, feowertig just became forty.
When to Use Fourty
Fourty is the incorrect spelling of the number 40. Use forty instead of fourty at all times. There’s no proper context to use the misspelled ‘fourty.’ To avoid misspellings, use a template to improve writing and practice spelling because it’s easy to type ‘fourty’ as it sounds the same as ‘four.’
The following sentences show that fourty is incorrect. It should be forty.
The research paper has fourty pages. (incorrect)
We have fourty hours to finish the project. (incorrect)
Lena received fourty thousand dollars as a bonus. (incorrect)
Fourty should be spelled as forty.
The research paper has
fourtyforty pages. (correct)
fourtyforty hours to finish the project. (correct)
fourtyforty thousand dollars as a bonus. (correct)
When to Use Forty
Forty is the correct spelling of the number 40. Use forty instead of fourty at all times.
Forty as a Noun
Forty is the number 40. Its plural form is forties.
What’s your shoe size’ ‘Forty.’
Masie got a score of forty-one out of fifty in their exam.
Her mother is in her early forties.
(Explanation: We say someone’s “in their forties” when their age is between 40 and 49.)
She scored an old record from the forties.
Explanation: “From the forties” means years between 1940 and 1949)
The temperature went up in the high forties.
(Explanation: “In the forties” means it’s between 40 degrees and 49 degrees.)
Forty as an Adjective
Forty days have passed, but their daughter hasn’t been found.
The professor gave a forty-minute lecture today.
It’s Lana’s fortieth birthday.
She’s the fortieth in the line.
(Explanation: Fortieth means ‘40th’ or the number 40 in a series.)
You have forty-six months to pay the debt.
Conclusion: How Do You Spell 40?
We spell 40 as forty, not fourty. Forty is the only correct spelling of the number 40, while fourty is a misspelled word. There’s no any occasion we can spell forty as fourty.
Learner’s Dictionary. (n.d.). Forty. In https://www.learnersdictionary.com/dictionary. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/forty
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online (n.d.). Be in Your Forties. In https://www.ldoceonline.com/ dictionary. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/be-in-your-forties
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online (n.d.). Forty. In https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/forty
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.).Is It Forty or Fourty? In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved February 14, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-it-forty-or-fourty
Oxford English Dictionary. (n.d.). Forty. In https://www.learnersdictionary.com/dictionary from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/73764