How Many Letters In The Alphabet?

How Many Letters In The Alphabet? The alphabet consists of a total of 26 different letters. The specific amount of letters in the alphabet is something that is dependent on the language whose alphabet you are interested in learning.

How Many Letters In The Alphabet?


When someone talks about the number of letters in the alphabet, many of us assume that he is talking about the English language. It is not a reasonable assumption because there are many different languages worldwide.

Surprisingly, every language has a different alphabet, and every alphabet has a different and unique number of letters. If you want to know the answer to the question, “How many letters are in the alphabet?” you should tell which language’s alphabet you want to know.

List Details
1 The word “alphabet” was derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, “alpha and beta.”
2 An alphabet is a set of primary written characters, symbols, graphs, or graphemes representing the phonemes or phonemic structure of different spoken languages.
3 The Proto-Canaanite script was the first fully phonemic script. It was later known as the “Phoenician alphabet.”
4 This script is the ancestor of all modern alphabets, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Brahmic.
5 This script was created by Semitic-speaking workers and enslaved people in the Sinai Peninsula.
6 Latin alphabet is the most popular in all other dozen of alphabets.
7 The Latin alphabet was derived from the alphabet of Greek language. In many languages, alphabets have letters composed of lines (linear writing).
8 The Khmer language has the most extended set of letters in the alphabet. The Khmer language has 74 letters.

:arrow_right: History

Here are the following history of Alphabet.

:pencil2: Egyptian Alphabet

The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt with the set of some 24 hieroglyphs called unilateral. These 24 hieroglyphs were used to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language and a vowel to be supplied by the native speaker. These 24 hieroglyphs were also used as pronunciation guides for logograms (a written character representing a word or morpheme).

In the Middle Bronze Age (the prehistoric period that was characterized by the use of bronze), 15th century BC, Proto-Sinaitic script appeared in Egyptian turquoise mines. In 1999, John and Deborah Darnell discovered an earlier version of this first alphabet at Wadi el-Hol, dated circa 1800 BC.

:pencil2: European Alphabet

The Greek alphabet gave rise to the Italic and Latin alphabet. Elder Futhark was another notable script. The Elder Futhark script is believed to have derived from Old Italic alphabets.

  • This script gave rise to many other alphabets called Runic alphabets.

  • Runic alphabets were used to write Germanic language when the Latin alphabets were not evolved.

  • In the 20th century, these alphabets were replaced by Latin alphabets.

  • The Slovak alphabet is derived from the Latin alphabet, the most extended European alphabet with 46 letters.

:pencil2: Asian Alphabet

The Arabic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Syriac alphabet, and other abjads were derived from the Aramaic alphabet. Most alphabetic scripts of Eastern Asia and India were derived from Brahmi scripts.

In Korea, Hangul (the Korean alphabet is called Hangul) was created by Sejong the Great. Hangul is a unique and featural alphabet. In Hangul, the letters are designed from a sound’s place of articulation.

What’s the alphabet’s length? Alphabet comes from the Greek terms alpha and beta. An alphabet consists of letters, symbols, and graphs. Each alphabet is unique. All alphabets are descended from 24 Egyptian hieroglyphs. 24 unilateral hieroglyphs. From these sprang the Greek, Italic, and Latin alphabets. Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac, and other abjads originated from Aramaic.

:capital_abcd: English Alphabet

The modern English alphabet is the Latin alphabet. They have both upper and lower cases. The English alphabet originated in the 7th century from Latin script, also known as Roman script. Many letters have been added and removed from the Latin alphabet to form 26 letters of modern English.

The alphabet is the compound word of the first two letters of the Greek, alpha and beta. The modern English alphabet has 26 letters which are,

An a, B b, C c, D d, E e, F f, Gg, Hh, I i, J j, K k, L l, M m, N n, O o, P p, Q q, R r, S s, T t, U u, V v, W w, X x, Y y, Z z.

The shape of these letters depends upon the type of font and handwriting of a person. English alphabet has 26 letters, 5 letters are vowels, and the rest are consonants.

:abc: Consonants:

Consonant is an essential speech sound that is produced by human beings in which when the breath flows out through the mouth is blocked by teeth, lips, and tongue. There are 21 consonants in the modern English alphabet. These are,

B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z.

:abc: Vowels:

A vowel is a basic speech sound made by changing the shape of the upper vocal tract or the area in the mouth above the tongue. In vowels, breath is not blocked by lips, teeth, and tongue. There are 5 vowels in the modern English alphabet. These are,

A, E, I, O, U.

:capital_abcd: History of English Alphabet

:abc: Old English

In the 5th century, the English language was written in the Anglo-Saxon futhorc runic alphabet. Anglo-Saxon futhorc is runes used by early Anglo-Saxons as an alphabet in their writing system.

This Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet, along with the proto-form of language itself, was brought to England by Anglo-Saxon natives. Few examples of the Anglo-Saxon runic alphabet have been left, mainly in the form of short scripts and fragments.

Number Details
1 In the 7th century, Christian missionaries introduced the Latin script. 2
3 The Anglo-Saxon futhorc runic alphabet greatly influenced the emerging letters of English’s alphabet by providing the letters “thorn (Þ þ)” and “wynn (Ƿ ƿ).”
4 The letter “eth (Ð ð)” was also added, and it was formed by modifying the modern English letter “D.”
5 The letter “yogh (Ȝ ȝ)” was added into the alphabet. It was created from “insular g (a form of letter “g” resembling the tailed “z”)” by Norman scribes. The letter a-e “ash (Æ æ)” was added.
6 It is a ligature (two or more letters or graphemes are joined as a single glyph).

In 1011, a person named Byrhtferth (priest and monk who lived at Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire in England) recorded the traditional order of the alphabet of the Old English. He first wrote 24 letters of the Latin alphabet and then added 5 additional English notes.

Old English did not contain “J,” “U,” and “W” as compared to modern English.

:abc: Modern English

In modern English, thorn (Þ þ), eth (Ð ð), wynn (Ƿ ƿ), yogh (Ȝ ȝ), ash (Æ æ) œ are removed. These letters are replaced by ligatures. In the 15th century, yogh was replaced by the modern English letter “g.” “ð” is still used in Faroese (North Germanic language).

In the 14th century, Wynn (Ƿ ƿ) disappeared from the English alphabet and was replaced by “uu,” which developed into the modern “w.” In the 16th century, two letters, “u” and “j,” were added to the alphabet, and these letters are distinct from “v” and “I,” respectively.

The status of the independent letter was given to the letter “w” in the 16th century. “&” was also removed from the old English alphabet. The modern English alphabet consists of 26 letters having both upper and lower cases.

An a, B b, C c, D d, E e, F f, G g, H h, I I, J j, K k, L l, M m, N n, O o, P p, Q q, R r, S s, T t, U u, V v, W w, X x, Y y, Z z.

Modern English has many diagraphs, but the status of independent letters is not given to these diagraphs.

:sparkles: Diagraphs:

Diagraph or diagram is a pair of characters that are used in the orthography of a language to write a single phoneme or a sequence of phonemes that do not correspond to the average values of the two characters combined.

These diagraphs are,

ch, ci, CK, ch, ng, ph, Qu, RH, sc, sh, th, ti, wh, wr, Zh

Modern English uses Latin. English has 26 letters. Old English had 29 letters and didn’t have “j,” “u,” and “w,” while modern English has 26 letters. A few letters were removed from the old English alphabet, and a few letters were added to them to form the modern English alphabet. The alphabet of modern English has both upper and lower cases. Modern English has many diagraphs, but there are no specific letters for these diagraphs.

:arrow_right: Letters in the alphabets of different languages

:pencil2: Arabic Language’s Alphabet

There are 28 letters in Arabic, just 2 more than in the English alphabet. It sounds simple, but it is not because all the letters of the Arabic alphabet are consonants.

It doesn’t mean that the Arabic language doesn’t have vowels. In Arabic, vowels are represented by a “diacritical mark.” A diacritical mark is a glyph that is added to a consonant.

Abjadi Sequence

The abjad order is derived from the Phoenician alphabet, and this order is used for lettering.

غ ظ ض ذ خ ث ت ش ر ق ص ف ع س ن م ل ك ي ط ح ز و ه د ج ب أ

Hijai Sequence

Modern dictionaries and reference books do not use abjads in order. They use hijab order in which letters are grouped based on similarity in shape. There are two types of hijab orders.

:small_blue_diamond: Common Hijai Order

ي و ه ن م ل ك ق ف غ ع ظ ط ض ص ش س ز ر ذ د خ ح ج ث ت ب ا

:small_blue_diamond: Maghrebian Hijai Order

ي و ه ش س ق ف غ ع ض ص ن م ل ك ظ ط ز ر ذ د خ ح ج ث ت ب ا

:pencil2: Chinese Language’s Alphabet

The standard Chinese writing system uses a non-alphabetic script. Chinese writing system uses the “Pinyin (developed in the 1950s by a group of Chinese linguists including Zhou Youguang)” system that uses characters.

There are more than 100 thousand characters in the Chinese writing system. It is impossible to learn them, but the most important characters are only three thousand to six thousand. Most Chinese words require two characters. For example, the word house is written as 屋 (Wū).

Various attempts were made to replace the whole Chinese non-alphabetic script, but all the shots failed in the end. However, simplified Chinese characters were replaced by traditional Chinese characters. Simplified Chinese characters are still used today in mainland China and Singapore.

:pencil2: Japanese Language’s Alphabet

The Japanese writing system has 2000 symbols from three alphabets. These alphabets are “kanji,” “hiragana,” and “katakana.”


Kanji consists of pictograms that originated in China. It is used to write most content words of native Japanese or Chinese origin, which include the following:

:small_orange_diamond: Most nouns

:small_orange_diamond: The stem of most verbs and adjectives

:small_orange_diamond: The stems of many adverbs

:small_orange_diamond: Most Japanese personal names and place names.

:small_orange_diamond: Most kanji have more than one pronunciation, and some common kanji have many possible accents. According to pronunciation, kanji are divided into on’yomi and kun’yomi. But many kanji terms have pronunciations that correspond to neither the on’yomi nor the kun’yomi. For example, “明日” (“tomorrow”) and “大人” (otona, “adult”).


Hiragana is used to write,

:small_blue_diamond: Okurigana (kana suffixes following kanji stems in Japanese written words).

:small_blue_diamond: Furigana (Japanese reading aid consisting of syllabic characters).

:small_blue_diamond: Various function words, such as grammatical particles and post positions.

:small_blue_diamond: Miscellaneous other words of various grammatical types.


It is used to write the following:

:small_orange_diamond: Translation of foreign words and names.

:small_orange_diamond: Common names of animals and plants.

:small_orange_diamond: Miscellaneous other words whose kanji are rare.

:small_orange_diamond: Onomatopoeia (the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates).

:small_orange_diamond: Emphasis on italicization of European language.

:pencil2: Korean Language’s Alphabet

Korean alphabet consists of 24 characters, and vowels are also present in the Korean alphabet. Although there are only 24 letters, the Korean writing system is complex because the Korean characters are arranged in blocks that become syllables.

The Korean alphabet is also called “Hangul”. The writing system for the Korean language was created by King Sejong the Great in 1443. Hangul is a featural writing system. Four basic alphabets were used in the Korean writing system, but now they are removed. These alphabets are “ㆍ”, “ㅿ”, “ㆁ”, “ㆆ”.

Modern Hangul consists of 24 letters. 14 letters are consonants (ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅅ ㅇ ㅈ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ) and the remaining10 are vowels (ㅏ ㅑ ㅓ ㅕ ㅗ ㅛ ㅜ ㅠ ㅡ ㅣ). There are also 27 letters in the Korean writing system. These 27 letters are formed by combining the elemental letters. These letters are given below,

:small_blue_diamond: 5 tense consonant letters (ㄲ ㄸ ㅃ ㅆ ㅉ).

:small_blue_diamond: 11 complex consonant letters (ㄳ ㄵ ㄶ ㄺ ㄻ ㄼ ㄽ ㄾ ㄿ ㅀ ㅄ).

:small_blue_diamond: 11 complex vowel letters (ㅐ ㅒ ㅔ ㅖ ㅘ ㅙ ㅚ ㅝ ㅞ ㅟ ㅢ).

:pencil2: Russian Language’s Language

Russian is an official language of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and is also spoken throughout Eastern Europe. The modern Russian alphabet has 33 letters, 21 consonants, ten vowels, and two signs (ь, ъ). The letters of the Russian alphabet are taken from the Cyrillic alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet was introduced in 998 AD.

А, Б, В, Г, Д, Е, Ё, Ж, З, И, Й, К, Л, М, Н, О, П, Р, С, Т, У, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Ш, Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, Я.

The two signs ь and ъ are used to separate other letters. Ъ is called “silent back vowel,” and ь is called “silent front vowel.”

:pencil2: Spanish Language’s Llphabet

There are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet. English speakers are familiar with these alphabets because the Spanish letters are taken from the Italian alphabet.

The Spanish alphabet has one additional letter compared to English. This letter is “ñ.” It comes after the letter “n.” Before 2010, there were 29 letters in the Spanish alphabet, but the three letters were removed. These three letters were “ch”, “||”, and “RR”.

:pencil2: Italian Language’s Alphabet

The Italian language contains only 21 letters. The Italian alphabet is the same as the English alphabet, but 5 letters are missing. These missing letters are “J,” “K,” “W,” “X,” and “Y.” The Italian alphabet has 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). The vowel “a” represents one good value while each of the others has two.

:pencil2: French Language’s Alphabet

The French language’s alphabet has 26 letters. These letters are taken from Latin script. French and English languages are closely related, and the letters of their alphabets are also the same.

However, there are some accent marks in the French language. These accent marks are è, é, or ç. These accent marks are not additional letters but just modifiers. The letters with their pronunciation are given below,

A (aah), B (beh), C (say), D (day), E (euh), F (eff), G (jay like “j” in English), H (ash), I (ee), J (gee as “g” in English), K (Kah), L (el), M (em), N (en), O (oh), P (pay), Q (coo), R (err), S (es), T (tay), U (oo), V (vay), W (double way), X (es), Y (ee-gray), Z (zed).

:pencil2: Greek Language’s Alphabet

There are 24 letters in the Greek language alphabet. Greek is an ancient language, and it gave rise to Latin script. The letters of the Greek language’s alphabet are

Alpha Α α
Beta Β β
Gamma Γ γ
Delta Δ δ
Epsilon Ε ε
Zeta Ζ ζ
Eta Η η
Theta Θ θ
Iota Ι ι
Kappa Κ κ
Lambda Λ λ
Mu Μ μ
Nu Ν ν
Xi Ξ ξ
Omicron Ο ο
Pi Π π
Rho Ρ ρ
Sigma Σ σ
Tau Τ τ
Upsilon Υ υ
Phi Φ φ
Chi Χ χ
Psi Ψ ψ
Omega Ω ω

:pencil2: German Language’s Alphabet

There are 26 letters in the German language alphabet. These letters are the same as English letters. The German language is not so harsh, and you can quickly learn it by learning its letters.

:pencil2: Hebrew Language’s Alphabet

The Hebrew language is spoken by more than 9 billion people in Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia. This language is also called the language of the Israelites. There are 22 letters in the alphabet of the Hebrew language.

These letters are different from the letters of the English alphabet. The alphabet of the Hebrew language is called square script, which blocks Jewish script. The letters of the Hebrew language’s alphabet are written from right to left, unlike in the English language.

The letters of the Hebrew language’s alphabet are given below,

Alef Bet Gimel Dalet He Waw or Vav Zayin Chet Tet Yod Kaf
א‎ ב‎ ג‎ ד‎ ה‎ ו‎ ז‎ ח‎ ט‎ י‎ כ‎
Lamed Mem Nun Samech Ayin Pe Tsade Qof Resh Shin Tav
ל‎ מ‎ נ‎ ס‎ ע‎ פ‎ צ‎ ק‎ ר‎ ש‎ ת

:pencil2: Burmese Language’s Alphabet

Burmese is a Sino-Tibetan language. It is spoken in Myanmar, where it is an official language and the language of the Bamar people. There are 41 letters in the Burmese alphabet.

Thirty-three letters are consonants, and the remaining eight are vowels. The Burmese alphabet is the most beautiful in the world. These are composed of circular shapes that are constantly drawn clockwise.

There are 28 letters in the Arabic language. There are three types of the alphabet in the Japanese language, consisting of more than 2000 symbols. The Korean alphabet has 24 characters and the Korean alphabet is called Hangul. The Russian alphabet has 33 letters, and the Spanish language contains 27 letters.

Frequently Asked Questions - (FAQs)

Here are the following important questions.

:one: Do All Writing Systems Alphabetically Represent Languages?

No, not all writing systems alphabetically represent languages.

:sparkles: For example,
:small_blue_diamond: In “Syllabary (the linguistic study of written languages),” every character represents a syllable (unit of organization for a sequence of a speech sound).

:small_blue_diamond: In “logographic systems,” semantic units or morphemes (smallest meaningful unit in a language) represent languages.

:two: Is There a Sentence Containing All the Letters of English’s Alphabet?

Yes, a sentence contains all 26 letters of English’s alphabet. This sentence is, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

:three: Does Communication Depend Upon the Alphabet of a Language?

No, communication doesn’t depend on the alphabet of languages. Communication is something different. It transfers information from one place, person, or group to another. Communication is the name of sharing emotions; emotions don’t need alphabets for their transfer.

:four: What Is an Ampersand?

Ampersand was the 27th letter of the English alphabet. In 1936, it was removed from the English alphabet because it was not used to spell words. It was taken from Latin script. Now the ampersand is used as conjugation for “and.”

:five: Which Language Has the Most Extended Set of the Alphabet?

The Khmer language has the most extended set of alphabets. The Khmer language’s alphabet consists of 74 letters. It is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. The Khmer language is hard to learn because of its 74 letters.

:six: Which Language Has the Shortest Set of the Alphabet?

The Rotokas language has the shortest set of alphabet. It contains only 12 letters. The Rotokas language is spoken by about 4320 people on the island of Bougainville (an island located east of New Guinea).

:seven: Which Language’s Alphabet Has the Most Consonants?

The Ubykh language’s alphabet has the most consonants. It has 84 phonemic consonants and consists of only two phonemic vowels. In 1996, the Ubykh was cited in the Guinness book of the world record because it is the language with the most consonants.

:eight: What Is Thorn?

Thorn (Þ, þ) is a letter. It was used in Old English, Gothic, Old Norse, and Old Swedish. In English, it was replaced by the digraph “th.” Thorn is still used in the modern Icelandic alphabet.

:nine: What Is Syllabary?

A syllabary is a set of written symbols used to represent the syllables of the words of a language. Some syllabaries include different characters for each possible syllable that may occur in the language and others use a system of consonant symbols that have an inherent vowel.

:keycap_ten: What Is the Difference Between Syllabary and Alphabet?

Alphabet is the standard set of letters representing speech sound. While in a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora. It is a system where each character represents a spoken syllable, consonant + vowel.

Alphabet is written letters or symbols. What’s the alphabet’s length? This depends on the alphabet’s language. Egypt’s 24 hieroglyphs were the first alphabet. Greek alphabets spawned Italic and Latin. Latin characters. Modern English has several diagraphs, although they’re not considered letters.
It contains 28 letters. It features Abjadi and hijab sequences. Only 3000 to 6000 of China’s 100,000 characters are meaningful. It’s called Hangul. French and English have the same alphabet, but distinct pronunciations. Burmese has 33 lovely letters.

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This page was last updated on 10 Sep 2022 by Muhammad Zahid