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#6. Brain teaser: can you count the Fs in this sentence?


Quick! Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:


“Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.”

How many did you find?


SolutionMost people say three. Why? We often don’t correctly process the word “OF” for two reasons. First, the letter F usually makes the “f” sound, like in “fox”. However, in the word “of”, it makes a “v” sound. Second, you have probably read the word “of” so many times in your life that you process it as one unit, overlooking the second letter/ sound.


Next brain teaser in SharpBrains’ top 25 series:

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45 Responses

  1. valesh says:

    there is actually only one ‘F’
    rest five are’f’s
    see in the question he aasked ‘F’s but not ‘f’s

  2. The person who makes me has no need for me The person who buys me doesn’t use me The person who is using me doesn’t know What am I?

  3. Tasha says:

    six. the reason people were meant to count less is because our minds aren’t supposed to translate the F’s in the word OF

  4. Nicky says:

    I found 6 first try and actually when I initially started counting I glossed over the of but then stopped, went back and included the of’s in the count THEN read the explanation and had a chuckle. Quite the little mental trick!

  5. NATACHA says:


  6. Joan says:

    six it is

  7. Kiara says:

    i counted six

  8. Craig says:

    It is never good to complicate a simple thing. How about we change the intro to say,… “read aloud, the words you see below.”
    “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years”… Then ask how many times the letter after the letter E in the english alphabet is used in what you just said?

  9. Rontre says:

    Hello from the Bahamas.
    There are 6 f’s in the sentence. It’s basically here to say that the human brain doesn’t take in the word “of” as a word with f because it is said as “ov”.

  10. rach says:

    i found 4

  11. rach says:

    no wait i found 8

  12. ali says:

    6. There are only 6. Show me the others.

  13. Olivia says:

    At fist I counted 3, not even acknologing the F’s in the words like “of”. I then recounted it, and I counted 6.

  14. Dimwit says:

    I found 16

  15. kex says:

    Whats the answer to the riddle. tasha

  16. Dickface says:

    i cant count 🙁

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