I thought I would give you some pronunciation tips  on how to pronounce the ‘tw’ consonant cluster- especially at the beginning of words. I have given training on other consonant clusters before- words with ‘ts’;  words with ‘pr’;  words ending in ‘ths’.– and this time, especially as I have recently had a few students who have found this tricky, it’s time for ‘tw’.

Pronunciation Tips- Pronounce words with the ‘tw’ consonant cluster

Tip 1

The first tip is if you can’t pronounce the  /w/ properly, then learn that first.

Tip 2

Once you can pronounce the /w/ properly, then add the /t/.

To make the ‘tw’ consonant cluster, you:

-raise your tongue tip to the middle of the bony ridge behind your top front teeth for the /t/

-as you drop your tongue to aspirate the /t/, at the same time you start to put your lips forward for the /w/. Your cheeks will move in a bit, and your jaw drops a little as you finish the /w/.

-The /t/ is an unvoiced consonant, and the /w/ is a voiced consonant.

Practise saying words with this consonant blend with me in the audio training lesson below. If you don’t have trouble with this consonant cluster, use the words to practise syllable stress in words, and main word stress in sentences.


Pronunciation Tips- Pronounce words with the ‘tw’ consonant cluster


twist, twins, twirl, tweak, twilight, tweezers, twitch, twenty, twelve, twinkling, twitter, tweet, twig, twinkie (American cake), twinge, twiddle (idiom: to sit and twiddle your thumbs- means to sit idly and do nothing).


They twirled and twisted between the tables.

The stars began twinkling at twilight.

Did you see what she tweeted?

Are you on twitter?

He felt sick after eating twelve twinkies.

We told the twins not to sit around twiddling their thumbs while everyone else cleaned up.

After running the marathon, his calf muscle twitched, and he felt a twinge in his ankle.

Best wishes, Esther

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