‘Number of Letters’ Riddle Is Stumping the Internet


The trick question asks, “What has four letters, sometimes nine letters, but never has five letters?” You’re not alone if you’re a little confused. How could a word have a different numbers of letters in it? Could it be a common phrase or saying, with a few words simply removed? Could it be a more general topic with lots of specific examples, like dog breeds? We’re so lost!

As it turns out, this riddle’s “question” isn’t actually a question at all, as many quick-thinking folks on the internet were eager to point out. Allow them to explain: Take a close look at the words “what,” “sometimes,” and “never” in the question and spell them out, one by one.


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‘What’ has four letters,
‘Sometimes’ has nine letters, but
‘Never’ has five letters.

If you did get it right, be sure to give yourself a pat on the back. That was a real mental workout!

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