Mastering Spelling: Is It Fourteen or Forteen?

By Strategically AI. Reviewed by Rebecca Hey.
Updated January 19, 2024
3 minute read
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In the English language, certain words often cause a bit of a mix-up, and numbers can be particularly tricky. A common point of confusion lies between "fourteen" and "forteen." This article aims to clear up this confusion, ensuring that your future writings are free from this common error.

Understanding the Correct Spelling: Fourteen

The correct spelling for the number after thirteen is "fourteen," which combines the words "four" and "teen." It's essential to remember this correct form, as numbers are a fundamental part of daily communication, be it in writing or speech.

The Origin of "Fourteen"

The word "fourteen" comes from the Old English "féowertīene," which is a combination of "féower," meaning four, and "tīene," related to "ten." This etymology helps in understanding why the correct spelling is "fourteen" and not "forteen."

Examples of Correct Usage

  • "She celebrated her fourteenth birthday last week."
  • "There are fourteen items in my shopping list."

The Misconception of "Forteen"

"Forteen" is a common misspelling of "fourteen." This error usually occurs due to a misunderstanding of the word's structure and pronunciation. Remember, there is no such word as "forteen" in the English language.

Tips to Remember the Correct Spelling

  • Word Association: Link "fourteen" with the number four.
  • Pronunciation: Emphasize the 'four' in 'fourteen' when speaking to reinforce the correct spelling.

Common Misuses of "Forteen"

  • Incorrect: "My cousin is forteen years old."
  • Correct: "My cousin is fourteen years old."

The Importance of Correct Spelling in Numbers

Spelling numbers correctly is crucial as it lends precision and clarity to communication, especially in formal writing, academic settings, and professional environments.

Why Spelling Counts

  • Clarity in Communication: Accurate spelling prevents misunderstandings.
  • Professionalism: Correct spelling is a sign of attention to detail and professionalism.

The Role of Correct Spelling in Formal Documents

  • In Academic Papers: "The experiment had fourteen participants."
  • In Business Reports: "The team consists of fourteen members."


Mastering the spelling of numbers like "fourteen" is key to effective communication. By understanding the correct form and its origins, you can avoid common mistakes and present your ideas clearly and professionally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to spell numbers correctly in writing?

Correct spelling of numbers is crucial for clarity and accuracy in communication, especially in formal and educational contexts.

Can I use numerals instead of spelling out 'fourteen'?

Yes, using the numeral "14" is acceptable, especially in scientific and mathematical writing.

How can I teach children the correct spelling of 'fourteen'?

Encourage them to break the word into parts: "four" and "teen," and practice writing and using the word in sentences.

Is 'forteen' a common error in English?

Yes, 'forteen' is a common misspelling, often due to misunderstanding the word's structure.

Are there any tricks to remember the spelling of 'fourteen'?

Think of 'fourteen' as the combination of 'four' and 'teen,' which can help in remembering the correct spelling.

Struggling to keep your spelling and grammar on point? Our expert content writing agency is here to help. We offer professional writing services, SEO content, and unlimited revisions to ensure your content is not only engaging but also error-free. Reach out to us for all your content needs!

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Rebecca Hey
Founder of, we’ve created over 10 million words of impactful content, driving organic traffic growth for more than 300 businesses.

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