Ninty vs. Ninety: What’s The Difference?

Have you ever been confused about the difference between ninety and ninty? There are not a lot of rules to follow when trying to figure out the correct spelling for numbers in English and it can be tricky to remember all the variations of spelling numbers — maybe even more so than the actual product of the math problem!  This article will teach you everything that you might want on how to use it correctly so that you can get to a hundred!  

The English language is confusing for native speakers and more confusing for ESL learners. Rules are confusing for many aspects of the language, sometimes they feel cumbersome and like there are too many rules to follow. Then there are some areas like spelling numerals out that will leave many wishing for some more rules to have some consistency. Just when you think you get the hang of one thing in English you might get confused about something like how to spell “90” and this article will show you why it is spelled the way it is and more about the word and its history.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Ninety?

  • noun, plural nine·ties.
    • a cardinal number, ten times nine.
    • a symbol for this number, as 90 or XC.
    • a set of this many persons or things.
    • nineties, the numbers, years, degrees, or the like, from 90 through 99, as in referring to numbered streets, indicating the years of a lifetime or of a century, or degrees of temperature:
      • His grandmother is in her nineties.
  • Adjective
    • amounting to 90 in number.

What Is the Difference Between Ninety and Ninty?

Ninety is referring to the Arabic-based numbers between eighty-nine and ninety-nine or years or angle of degrees. Ninty is just a misspelling of the word ninety. Although the word originally comes from Middle English and the Old English nigontig. Ninty could be a common misspelling for those learning English as a second language or those learning grammar and spelling at a young age. There are no universal rules for spelling numerals in the English language so it can be confusing when the spelling changes for these strange words.

Eighty adds a y to eight; ninety adds ty to nine, twenty adds enty to two, etc. A similar mistake relates to 40 — is it fourty or forty? The differences can be confusing until you remember how to say the entire word and spell them with confidence since there is little reason behind these seemingly strange style guides. English is not the only language with confusing ways to say and spell numbers. In French seventy-nine is sixty-ten-nine and eighty is four twenties, eighty one is four twenties one, and ninety is four twenties ten, or quatre-vingt-dix. For this reason, you need to develop some kind of helpful mnemonic device. 

The French have a fascinating way to count and there is some debate over why it ended up being so confusing. Some say that they partially adapted to the Celt’s system for counting which was based on twenties. The French way is a little weirder and although some other languages like Danish use a twenty based counting system, the French don’t follow it but goes it’s own way. This gets, even more, confusing with big numbers as they call 206 two-zero-six. This switches from their complicated system of either following their own new rules or counting by twenties and throws it out the window for simplicity; even though they have arguably the hardest language to count and spell in.

Example Sentences of the Words in Context


Now you are no doubt an expert on using the correct use of ninety and hopefully also took away a lot more about the word. Next time you need to write the word ninety and use it in a sentence you will be well prepared. Hopefully, you enjoyed learning more about the English language and how it is not the only language with a confusing way to spell words and count.