Eighth vs. Eight — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 3, 2024
Eighth refers to the ordinal number following the seventh, while eight is the cardinal number equal to 7+1.

Key Differences

Eighth is used to denote the position in an ordered sequence, indicating something that comes after the seventh position. For example, in a race, the person who finishes in the eighth place is not the winner but has outpaced others who finished later. On the other hand, eight is a cardinal number that represents quantity. It is used to count items, such as having eight apples, which signifies the total number of apples.
Eighth often implies a part of a whole that is divided into eight equal parts. When something is divided into eight segments, each segment is an eighth of the total. Whereas, when we talk about eight of something, it refers to the entire count of items or units, emphasizing the total amount rather than a fractional part.
In music, the term eighth refers to an eighth note, which is a musical note played for one eighth the duration of a whole note. This highlights a specific duration within a piece of music. Conversely, eight can denote the number of musical items or instruments, such as eight violins in an orchestra, focusing on the quantity rather than a division of musical time.
In terms of pronunciation and spelling, "eighth" introduces an additional "gh" and ends with "th," emphasizing its ordinal nature and making its pronunciation slightly more complex with a silent "gh". Eight is simpler, both in spelling and pronunciation, reflecting its direct count of items or entities.
Eighth can also signify a specific time or order in recurring events, such as the eighth hour of the day or the eighth month of the year, implying a sequence. Whereas eight is used to specify the exact count of hours, days, or any other quantifiable items, showing no inherent order but simply quantity.

Comparison Chart

Ordinal number
Cardinal number

Denotes position
Denotes quantity

Eighth in line
Eight items

1/8 of a whole
Total count of 8

Related Concepts

Eighth note in music
Eight musical instruments

Pronunciation

More complex, with a silent "gh"
Simpler, straightforward

Compare with Definitions

Eighth

Can indicate the eighth day or month.
Her birthday is on the eighth of May.

Eight

Often used to denote age.
The child is eight years old.

Eighth

Eighth signifies the rank or position of something in a sequence.
She finished eighth in the marathon.

Eight

Used in mathematical contexts to signify the numeral.
Eight multiplied by two is sixteen.

Eighth

In music, it denotes an eighth note.
The piece has several fast eighth notes.

Eight

Eight refers to the number following seven.
She bought eight apples.

Eighth

Refers to one of eight equal parts of a whole.
He drank an eighth of the juice.

Eight

Indicates the number of items in a group.
There are eight books on the shelf.

Eighth

Used in measurements to denote one eighth of a unit.
The gap should be an eighth of an inch wide.

Eight

Used to specify hours.
The meeting starts at eight o'clock.

Eighth

The ordinal number matching the number eight in a series.

Eight

The cardinal number equal to 7 + 1.

Eighth

One of eight equal parts.

Eight

The eighth in a set or sequence.

Eighth

The ordinal form of the number eight.

Eight

(Sports) An eight-oared racing shell.

Eighth

The person or thing in the eighth position.

Eight

An eight-cylinder engine or motor vehicle.

Eighth

One of eight equal parts of a whole.

Eight

A numerical value equal to 8; the number occurring after seven and before nine.

Eighth

(slang) An eighth of an ounce, or approximately 3.5 grams, of marijuana or other drugs.

Eight

Describing a group or set with eight elements.
He works eight hours a day.

Eighth

Next in order after the seventh.

Eight

The digit/figure 8.

Eighth

Consisting of one of eight equal divisions of a thing.

Eight

(playing cards) Any of the four cards in a normal deck with the value eight.

Eighth

The quotient of a unit divided by eight; one of eight equal parts; an eighth part.

Eight

(nautical) A light, narrow rowing boat, especially one used in competitive rowing, steered by a cox, in which eight rowers each have two oars.

Eighth

The interval of an octave.

Eight

A race in which such craft participate.

Eighth

Position eight in a countable series of things

Eight

(rowing) The eight people who crew a rowing-boat.

An eighth part

Eight

Alternative spelling of ait{{q}}

Eighth

Coming next after the seventh and just before the ninth in position

Eight

Obsolete spelling of eighth

Eight

An island in a river; an ait.

Eight

The number greater by a unit than seven; eight units or objects.

Eight

A symbol representing eight units, as 8 or viii.

Eight

Seven and one; as, eight years.

Eight

The cardinal number that is the sum of seven and one

Eight

A group of United States painters founded in 1907 and noted for their realistic depictions of sordid aspects of city life

Eight

Being one more than seven

Common Curiosities

What is the difference between eighth and eight?

Eighth is an ordinal number indicating position, while eight is a cardinal number representing quantity.

How do you spell the ordinal number after seven?

It is spelled as "eighth."

How are eighth and eight used in time telling?

Eighth can refer to the eighth hour or month, while eight denotes the exact count of hours or any quantity.

Can eight be used as an ordinal number?

No, eight is strictly a cardinal number, used for counting.

Is eighth used only in sequences?

Primarily, yes, for positions in sequences or fractions of a whole, not for total counts.

How does the use of eighth and eight differ in sports?

Eighth refers to a position or rank, like eighth place, while eight could count participants or objects.

Can eighth be used to describe quantity?

Eighth typically describes a fraction of a whole, not the total quantity like eight.

Is there a difference in pronunciation between eighth and eight?

Yes, eighth has a more complex pronunciation with a silent "gh."

How do you use eighth in fractions?

It denotes one part of something divided into eight equal parts.

What does eight signify in music?

In music, eight does not have a specific significance related to duration or beats, unlike eighth, which refers to an eighth note.

Can eighth and eight be used interchangeably?

No, because they serve different grammatical and numerical functions.

What role does eighth play in measurements?

It is used to denote one eighth of a unit in measurements, indicating precision.

In what context is eight used in mathematics?

Eight is used to denote the numeral itself or the quantity in mathematical operations.

What is an example of eighth in daily life?

Referring to the eighth item in a list or the eighth day of the month.

Why is it important to distinguish between eighth and eight?

Understanding the difference helps in accurate communication, whether referring to position, quantity, or fractions.

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