When Ancient Egytians were living, about 5,000 years ago, the way they chose to put their language in writing was by using symbols. For example, they used 0 to mean "sun". But when they needed to write down more complicated ideas their language improved and changed. 0 was a good sign for "sun", but how would you write "sunny" or "sunspot" or "sunburn"? Insead of making new signs the Egyptians would just combine one hieroglyph with another to make new words. So in addition to being pictures, hieroglyphs were also sounds. In time, the Egyptians started combining one sound with another to make new words.
We do the same thing in English. We have twenty-six letters in our alphabet that represent a lot of different sounds. We combine these to make words. The Ancient Egyptians had hundreds of different sounds and letters.
The Egyptians used hieroglyphs to write stories and letters. They used them to decorate tombs and temple walls. They carved them on large stones to record the orders and words of their kings.
Not everyone knew how to write heiroglphs.Not many Egyptians were sent to school. Most people were too busy raising crops for food. A small group of people - scribes, priests and administors did all the reading and the writing for everyone. They kept tax accounts, wrote letters, kept record of trials and read the royal decrees.
As time passed, people from different cultures came to Egypt. Different customs and languages were also brought to Egypt. Slowly, the Egyptians began to write using the Greek alphabet. It was simpler to use. Only the priests in the temples continued to use the beautiful hieroglyphs. The last hieroglphic inscription we know of was the year 394 A.D.
This gives you an idea of what the hieroglyphic alphabet looked like.