The ‘How many letters are in the alphabet?’ riddle has caught a lot of people out.

With the world on almost total lockdown at the moment, we’ve all had to spend much more time at home than we’re used to.

As a result, many of us are having to find new ways of keeping ourselves entertained to stave off the boredom of staying indoors all day.

For many, Netflix and Disney+ have provided the perfect answer but if you’re searching for something a little more engaging, riddles and puzzles have proven to be a popular distraction and have flooded social media in recent weeks.

One of the more head-scratching teasers to appear on Facebook has been a simple question but it’s one that has thrown a lot of people. 

Riddle: How many letters are in ‘the alphabet?’

The riddle in question is simply the following:

  • How many letters are in ‘the alphabet?’

However, it’s a teaser that has thrown a lot of people, especially those adamant that the answer is 26 because, in this case, it isn’t.


Answer: How many letters are in ‘the alphabet?’

  • In ‘the alphabet’ there are 11 letters.

You see, the answer in this instance comes from the number of letters in the words ‘the alphabet’ rather than the actual alphabet itself.

The reason why this has caught so many out is the way in which the question is worded.

If the question read How many letters are in the words, ‘the alphabet?’ then those trying the riddle would have a much easier time but where’s the fun in that?

Alternatively, you could also say that there are seven letters in ‘the alphabet’ as a number of the letters are repeated across the two words but again the question doesn’t specify this.

Fancy another riddle?

If you’re looking for more tricky teasers like this one, we’ve got guides on several riddles waiting just for you.

See if any of these take your fancy:

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