The English Alphabet (abc...)
An alphabet is a set of letters or symbols that we use to represent the basic speech sounds of a language in writing.
The English word "alphabet" comes from the Latin word "alphabetum". The Latin word "alphabetum" came from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, "alpha" and "beta".
The English alphabet has 26 letters.
|a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z |
The letters above are "small letters".
Small and Large Letters
Each letter of the English alphabet can be written as a "small letter" or as a "large letter". Large letters are also called "capital letters" or "capitals".
|Small letters || ||a ||b ||c ||d ||e ||f ||g |
|Capital letters || ||A ||B ||C ||D ||E ||F ||G |
| || |
|Small letters || ||h ||i ||j ||k ||l ||m ||n |
|Capital letters || ||H ||I ||J ||K ||L ||M ||N |
| || |
|Small letters || ||o ||p ||q ||r ||s ||t ||u |
|Capital letters || ||O ||P ||Q ||R ||S ||T ||U |
| || |
|Small letters || ||v ||w ||x ||y ||z || || |
|Capital letters || ||V ||W ||X ||Y ||Z |
The English alphabet starts with the letter A and finishes with the letter Z. It is always written in the same order:
|a ||b ||c ||d ||e ||f ||g ||h ||i ||j ||k ||l ||m ||n ||o ||p ||q ||r ||s ||t ||u ||v ||w ||x ||y ||z |
|A ||B ||C ||D ||E ||F ||G ||H ||I ||J ||K ||L ||M ||N ||O ||P ||Q ||R ||S ||T ||U ||V ||W ||X ||Y ||Z |
This order is called "alphabetical order". We often write lists in alphabetical order. For example, to write a list of countries in alphabetical order, we start with countries that begin with the letter A, then with countries that begin with B, and so on. For example:
If more than one word begins with the letter A, we put them in order based on the second letter, and then the third letter, and so on:
We use alphabetical order for many things, for example:
- indexes of books
- telephone directories