Tongue Twisters to improve pronunciation.
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100 Tongue Twisters to Improve Pronunciation.

Tongue twisters, are tricky phrases in English that both help you to learn english pronunciation and tie your tongue in knots! Tongue twisters are used in classrooms all over the world to help English students learn the pronunciation of different, and difficult, English sounds and phrases.

Tongue twisters help develop English pronunciation skills by allowing students to practice difficult sounds in quick succession. They develop both aural recognition and provide physical practice of making the mouth shapes as they move their mouth through each sound. They can be used for simple and complex sounds.

We have a selection of these tongue twisters below. They are great for adults and children and we have provided them in picture and list form, we even have tongue twisters resources to download to use in classrooms and homes. .

Why Use Tongue Twisters to Teach English

Tongue twisters can be a fun and effective teaching aid to teach phonics sounds. They allow students to practice complex sentences, or complex word collections that even their teachers may have difficulty with. They can be used in games, as tasks in the classroom, as video projects or as a little fun at the beginning or end of classes.

We have often used them as project work. We ask our students to come up with a tongue twister using the sounds, letters or words we are covering in class. Then have the students vote which one we will use (if appropriate). We have them draw a picture and write their tongue twister which can then be displays and performed in front of the class.

Teachers can also easily create their own if they want to put a more personal touch into their lessons.

What is a Tongue Twister.

We are fairly sure you know what a tongue twister is, but just in case!

A tongue twister is a series of words that are difficult to say when put together. This is due to the similarity of the sounds, or the transitions between mouth shapes when saying them quickly. They often are used to help students of English hear and practice the differences between sounds in a fun and enjoyable way.

100 Tongue Twisters to Improve Pronunciation

List of Short Tongue Twisters

Although tongue twisters can be very long, to the extent of making the hardest part not saying them but remembering them! they can also be very short. This does not mean they are any easier to say, especially if you try to say these short tongue twisters multiple times.

The short tongue twisters below should all be able to be said in one breath, though to say them repeatedly you are going to need to breathe a little more!

  • Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.
  • Betty loves the velvet vest best
  • Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear
  • She sells seashells by the seashore
  • How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
  • black back bat
  • The great Greek grape growers grow great Greek grapes
  • Selfish shellfish
  • Seventy-seven benevolent elephants
  • Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks
  • Wayne went to wales to watch walruses
  • Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.
  • Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better.
  • Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.
  • Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.
  • Cooks cook cool cakes quickly.
  • Twelve twins twirled twelve twigs
  • Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks..
  • Daddy Draws Doors.
  • Smelly shoes and socks shock sisters.
  • He threw three free throws.
  • Send toast to ten tense stout saints’ ten tall tents.
  • Double bubble gum, bubbles double.
  • Tommy Tucker tried to tie Tammy’s Turtles tie.
  • The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.
  • Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone.
  • I thought, I thought of thinking of thanking you.
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
  • I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop
  • East Fife Four, Forfar Five
  • Which witch is which?
  • How may saws could a see-saw saw if a see-saw could saw saws?
  • If you notice this notice, you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for icecream!
  • Elizabeth has eleven elves in her elm tree
  • Susie works in a shoeshine shop. Where she shines she sits, and where she sits she shines
  • Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?
  • Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?
  • I have got a date at a quarter to eight; I’ll see you at the gate, so don’t be late
  • Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread
  • You know New York, you need New York, you know you need unique New York
  • A big black bear sat on a big black rug.
  • Four furious friends fought for the phone
  • A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
  • I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen
  • A pessimistic pest exists amidst us.
  • If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
  • I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you
100 Tongue Twisters to Improve Pronunciation

List of Long Tongue Twisters

The longest of tongue twisters can be found here, and as we mentioned before this means they are a test of both memory and reading ability! As it can get very confusing trying to get all the words in the correct order for a lot of these long tongue twisters.

We have put some medium tongue twisters in as well just to give your mouth a break! Some of these are easy, and fast, and some tongue twisters really have to be thought about and practiced before you can say them quickly!

You may recognise some old classic tongue twisters mixed up with the new and original ones here as well.

  • A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk,
    but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
  • Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
    but Moses supposes erroneously;
    for nobody’s toeses are poses of roses,
    as Moses supposes his toeses to be.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
    A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
    Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  • Five frantic frogs fled from fifty fierce fishes.
  • Whether the weather is warm, whether the weather is hot, we have to put up with the weather, whether we like it or not.
  • Betty Botter bought some butter
    But she said the butter’s bitter
    If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter
    But a bit of better butter will make my batter better
    So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
  • I thought a thought but the thought I thought, wasn’t the thought you thought I thought.
    If the thought I thought, had been the thought I thought, I wouldn’t have thought I thought.
  • If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
  • If one doctor doctors another doctor, then which doctor is doctoring the doctored doctor?
    Does the doctor who doctors the doctor, doctor the doctor the way the doctor is doctoring doctors?
  • Chester cheetah chews a chunk of cheap cheddar cheese.
    If the chunk of cheese chunked Chester cheetah,
    What would Chester cheetah chew and chunk on?
  • If a black bug bleeds black blood, what colour blood does a blue bug bleed?
  • Swan swam over the sea, swim, swan, swim!
    Swan swam back again well swum, swan!
  • How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
    He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood
    As a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood
  • How much dew does a dewdrop drop
    If dewdrops do drop dew?
    As do dewdrops drop
    If dewdrops do drop dew.
  • Betty Botter bought a bit of butter.
    “But,” she said, “this bit of butter’s bitter,
    But a bit of better butter mixed with this butter might just make my bit of bitter butter better.”
    So, Betty bought a bit of better butter to make her bitter butter better.
  • No need to light a night-light on a light night like tonight.
  • One-one was a race horse. Two-two was one too. One-one won one race. Two-two won one too. 
  • Birdie birdie in the sky laid a turdie in my eye.
    If cows could fly I’d have a cow pie in my eye.
  • Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep.
    The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed
    Shilly-shallied south.
    These sheep shouldn’t sleep in a shack;
    Sheep should sleep in a shed.
  • Luke Luck likes lakes. Luke’s duck likes lakes. Luke Luck licks lakes. Luck’s duck licks lakes. Duck takes licks in lakes Luke Luck likes. Luke Luck takes licks in lakes duck likes.
  • I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish,
    but if you wish the wish the witch wishes,
    I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.
  • I saw a saw that could out saw any saw I ever saw saw. If you happen to see a saw that can out saw the saw I saw saw I’d like to see the saw you saw saw.
  • How many boards
    Could the Mongols hoard
    If the Mongol hordes got bored?
  • Denise sees the fleece,
    Denise sees the fleas.
    At least Denise could sneeze
    and feed and freeze the fleas.
  • There was a fisherman named Fisher
    who fished for some fish in a fissure.
    Till a fish with a grin,
    pulled the fisherman in.
    Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher.
  • Mary Mac’s mother’s making Mary Mac marry me.
    My mother’s making me marry Mary Mac.
    Will I always be so Merry when Mary’s taking care of me?
    Will I always be so merry when I marry Mary Mac?
100 Tongue Twisters to Improve Pronunciation

Easy Tongue Twisters for Kindergarten

Sometimes, before we jump in and try the most difficult of tongue twisters ( see below). we might need to practice with some easier ones. The examples tongue twisters are suitable for kindergarten and grade 1 to 2 children as they have limited words and are not jumping from sound to sound too much.

Although we called them kindergarten tongue twisters they can of course be used for anyone! especially if your tongue just needs a little warming up!

  • Divers dive deep.
  • Growing glowworm, go glow on the glowing globe.
  • Daddy Draws Doors.
  • Toy boat
  • red lorry, yellow lorry.
  • baboon bamboo
  • Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.
  • Sally sheared Sheep
  • Shut up the shutters and sit in the shop.
  • Selfish shellfish.
  • Four fine fresh fish for you
  • Flash message
  • Fresh fish and fried french fries
  • Slippery school shoes
  • slow snow
  • Truly rural.
  • She sees cheese.

Phonics Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters are a great and fun way to introduce and practice new phonics sounds with both children and adults alike.

We have an A to Z set of Tongue twisters that you can print of and use as you need in the links on this page.

There are two versions of these A to Z tongue twisters, one is free and one is paid. Both have almost the same A to Z tongue twisters one is just bigger with newer images. you can check them both out below 🙂

We are also currently making a set of cards to print and use as well so they can be used in classrooms and homes as a fun game to play and practice these phonics tongue twisters.

The table below highlights examples of Phonics tongue twisters. We have also put this on a downloadable and printable file for you in the table if you need.

Tongue TwisterPhonetic Sounds
Fresh fish and fried french fries”Fr” Blending sound
Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.”ss and zz” Consonant sounds
She sees cheese.”sh and ch” Digraphs
Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks..”x and c/k” Consonant sounds
She sells seashells by the seashore“sh” Digraph
Daddy Draws Doors.”d” Consonant sound
Swan swam over the sea, swim, swan, swim!
Swan swam back again well swum, swan!
“Sw” Blending sound
Five frantic frogs fled from fifty fierce fishes.“f, Fr/Fl” sounds
Growing glowworm, go glow on the glowing globe“gr/gl” blending sounds
He threw three free throws.“th” Digraph
Double bubble gum, bubbles double.“d and b” Consonant sounds
Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear“ear, ee” Diphthongs
I have got a date at a quarter to eight; I’ll see you at the gate, so don’t be late“long a” Vowel sound.
Wayne went to wales to watch walruses“w” Consonant sound
I saw a saw that could out saw any saw I ever saw saw.“or/aw” Diphthongs
Betty Botter bought some butter
But she said the butter’s bitter
“b” Consonant sound
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers“p” Consonant Sound
Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.“c” Consonant Sound
red lorry, yellow lorry“r and l” Consonant sound

Hardest Tongue Twister

There is much debate over what is the most difficult English tongue twister in the world. It used to be the “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.” but since the category now longer appears in the Guiness Book of Records it has opened the debate up to other difficult tongue twisters.

The current consensus is that a phrase developed by M.I.T is the most difficult tongue twister and phrase to say in English, which we have in the quote below. You have to say it ten times quickly with no mistakes.

To be honest we think that the first one is more difficult.

“Pad kid poured curd pulled cod.”

M.I.T

While it is certainly difficult to say it that many times without slipping up it pales in comparison to the most difficult poem we have ever seen in english. That really REALLY makes things difficult.

If you can read it then i think your english lessons should finish and you should start teaching instead of studying! You can check it out here.

Conclusion

Whatever the reason you want to use tongue twisters i hope the options we have given you help. They can be lots of fun to use in classrooms, and their popularity seems to be growing.

Although we have given you over a hundred to use here, we think the best way to use them is to get your students to invent their own and make posters or classroom displays.

Either way enjoy 🙂

https://spectrum.mit.edu/continuum/ten-times-fast-mit-researchers-devise-tricky-tongue-twister/

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