‘76st’ or ‘76th’: Which is correct? We most often associate numbers with mathematics and counting, but they appear just as often in our writing as well. This article will help you understand how to incorporate numbers more seamlessly into your writing and speaking.
In a hurry? Here’s a little preview of what’s to come:
As mentioned above, the correctly written form is ‘76th’, and while we could simply end the article here, we wouldn’t know why this is the correct form. So, let’s explore numbers a bit more to get a better understanding.
The truth about ‘76th’ is that it is actually an abbreviation — a shorthand form of a word or phrase that is typically used to simplify writing — meaning the addition of letters on the end actually comes from a longer word. In fact, the ‘th’ at the end of ‘76th’ isn’t an addition at all, but rather a reflection of the full spelling of ‘seventy-sixth’.
This tells us where the abbreviation comes from, but not why it couldn’t be ‘76st’ or ‘76th’. The answer lies in the spelling of the full words.
Let’s start with the written forms of first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, etc. Looking at the fully spelled words, pay attention to their endings:
Now compare those highlighted endings to the correct numerical forms of the words:
Notice how they are the same? So, in this case, understanding the correct written numerical form means knowing how to write the full word or say it aloud. While this helps us understand part of the issue, we have to remember that 76 isn’t a single-digit number which may add a layer of complication.
Fortunately, the expansion into double-digit numbers doesn’t affect the abbreviated ending. In fact, you could have an infinite number of digits, and the ending would still only be determined by the final digit.
Now that we have an understanding of how numbers and writing combine, let’s make sure we actually know what ‘76th’ means.
Meanwhile, as a noun, the word ‘76th’ or ‘seventy-sixth’ can also mean:
Note that the word ‘76th’ is the ordinal form of the number seventy-six, describing a person or thing in position number 76 of a sequence. But what does ‘ordinal’ mean exactly? Let’s learn a bit more.
According to Oxford Languages, ‘Ordinal Numbers’ are:
If you pay attention to the construction and spelling of the word ‘ordinal,’ you’ll notice how it stems from the term “order,” as in the sequence in which things go. So, when you want to say someone is number 76 in an order or line, they would be labeled in their ordinal form, ‘76th’.
While knowing how to correctly write the abbreviated form is important, it doesn’t give us the best base for learning pronunciation if we don’t know how to say the full number. Follow the guide below to learn to correctly say ‘76th’ aloud.
Use this phonetic spelling of ‘76th’ as a guide:
Note that when you try and pronounce ‘76st’ it will sound unfamiliar and incorrect on the tongue:
We’ve covered most of the bases in learning this new abbreviation, but the final step is feeling confident using it on your own. The sample sentences below will give you a sense of how to use this word in a variety of contexts.
If there is one major takeaway from this article is that you should simply not use the term ‘76st’. But you’ve also learned how written numerical forms relate to their full words and how abbreviations depend on the last letters of the word. When in doubt, practice saying your numbers aloud because they will help you find the correct written form.
Need a little recap? Here’s a review of what we covered:
Want to learn more about how numbers transfer into language studies? Be sure to check out other confusing word articles where we tackle other ordinal numbers and give you the tools to write and talk about numerical issues. Remember that words and numbers can mix if you are careful to use their proper forms.