A tongue twister is a specific sequence of words whose rapid, repeated pronunciation is difficult even for native speakers.
Often these are similar words which follow one another but differ in certain syllables. Alliterations are also frequent.
In addition, some tongues are difficult because of their unusual word composition (sentence structure) and therefore require a high level of concentration.
Some Tongue twisters are made for amusement, but on the other hand, professional speakers such as actors, politicians, and television / radio hosts use them as articulation exercises.
Tongue Twisters to improve pronunciation in English
A collection of my favorite tongue twisters to warm up your lips and tongue ...
it's not just how fast you say them, but how clearly too!
There are thousands of tongue twisters out there - here is a collection of some (short, long and small poems), whose text makes some sense, and which can also be used to speak more clearly.
- Classic Tongue Twisters
- 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?
- 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.
- She sells sea shells by the seashore.
- Betty bought a bit of butter.
But the butter Betty bought was bitter.
so Betty bought a better butter,
and it was better than the butter Betty bought before.
[Variation of Carolyn Wells The Butter Betty Bought published 1899.]
- Difficult Tongue Twisters
- Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep.
The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed
These sheep shouldn't sleep in a shack;
Sheep should sleep in a shed.
- The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
[According to The Guinness Book of World Records this is the toughest tongue twister - so far.]
- Funny Tongue Twisters
- Round the rough and rugged rock the ragged rascal rudely ran.
- All I want is a proper cup of coffee,
Made in a proper copper coffee pot
I may be off my dot
But I want a cup of coffee
From a proper coffee pot.
Tin coffee pots and iron coffee pots
They're no use to me -
If I can't have a proper cup of coffee
In a proper copper coffee pot
I'll have a cup of tea.
- Amidst the mists and coldest frosts,
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts,
He thrusts his fists against the posts,
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
- Two tiny timid toads trying to trot to Tarrytown.
- Nine nimble noblemen nibbling nuts.
- Quizzical quiz, kiss me quick.
- Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.
- What a to do to die today
At a minute or two to two
A thing distinctly hard to say
And harder still to do.
For they'll beat a tattoo at twenty to two
And the dragon will come when he hears the drum,
At a minute or two to two today
At a minute or two to two.
- Eve eating eagerly elegant Easter eggs.
- Ingenious iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly-impractical instruments.
- These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue.
- Tongue Twisters for Kids
- A proper copper coffee pot.
- One-One was a racehorse.
Two-Two was one, too.
When One-One won one race,
Two-Two won one, too.
- Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?
- Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
- If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
- Easy Tongue Twisters
- He threw three free throws.
- I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.
- If you notice this notice, you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.
- Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.
- I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York.
- Four fine fresh fish for you.
- A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.
- Short Tongue Twisters (3x)
- Six sticky skeletons.
- Which witch is which?
- She sees cheese.
- Stupid superstition.
- Eleven benevolent elephants.
- Truly rural.
- Tongue Twisters About Thinking & Feeling
- Three thin thinkers thinking thick thoughtful thoughts.
- Of all the felt I ever felt,
I never felt a piece of felt
which felt as fine as that felt felt,
when first I felt that felt hat's felt.
- 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 thought, I thought of thinking of thanking you.
- I thought a thought.
But the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I thought.
If the thought I thought I thought had been the thought I thought, I wouldn't have thought so much.
Tongue twisters are a real challenge for the English learner because they test the ability of the mouth to make quick and exact movements in spoken English.
As a result, tongue twisters can be seen as a form of exercise for students learning English, and should be paired with pronunciation practice when trying to improve English speaking.
Tongue twisters are a great way to improve your pronunciation and exercise your mouth. Try them slowly at first, and then read them as fast as you can.
English Tongue Twisters
She sells seashells ...
She sells seashells by the seashore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I'm sure she sells seashore shells.
Mr. See owned ...
Mr. See owned a saw.
And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.
Now, See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw
Before Soar saw See,
Which made Soar sore.
Had Soar seen See's saw
Before See sawed Soar's seesaw,
See's saw would not have sawed
So See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.
But it was sad to see Soar so sore
just because See's saw sawed
Perspicacious Polly Perkins ...
Perspicacious Polly Perkins purchased Peter's product
And peddled pickles to produce a pretty profit!
Pure food ...
Pure food for poor mules
The Leith police ...
The Leith police dismisseth thee,
The Leith police dismisseth us.
What noise annoys ...
What noise annoys an oyster?
The noise that annoys an oyster
is a noise that knows no oyster.
The sixth sick sheik's ...
The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick
A tutor who ...
A tutor who tooted the flute
tried to tutor two tooters to toot.
Said the two to their tutor:
"Is it harder to toot,
Or to tutor two tooters to toot?"
A skunk sat ...
A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk,
but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
Imagine an imaginary ...
Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager
imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.
A tree-toad loved ...
A tree-toad loved a she-toad
Who lived up in a tree.
He was a two-toed tree-toad,
But a three-toed toad was she.
The two-toed tree-toad tried to win
The three-toed she-toad's heart,
For the two-toed tree-toad loved the ground
That the three-toed tree-toad trod.
But the two-toed tree-toad tried in vain;
He couldn't please her whim.
From her tree-toad bower,
With her three-toed power,
The she-toad vetoed him.
Ned Nott was shot ...
Ned Nott was shot and Sam Shott was not.
So it is better to be Shott than Nott.
Some say Nott was not shot.
But Shott says he shot Nott.
Either the shot Shott shot at Nott was not shot,
Or Nott was shot.
If the shot Shott shot shot Nott, Nott was shot.
But if the shot Shott shot shot Shott,
Then Shott was shot, not Nott.
However, the shot Shott shot shot not Shott, but Nott.
Betty Botter had some ...
Betty Botter had some butter,
But, she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better."
So she bought a bit of butter –
Better than her bitter butter –
And she baked it in her batter;
And the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.
Theophilus Thistle, ...
Theophilus Thistle, the Thistle Sifter,
Sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles.
If Theophilus Thistle, the Thistle Sifter,
Sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles,
Where is the sieve of un-sifted thistles
Theophilus Thistle, the Thistle Sifter, sifted?
A big black bear ...
A big black bear bit a big black bug
and the big black bug bled black blood.
Moses supposes his toeses ...
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.
United States ...
United States twin-screw steel cruisers
I never smelled ...
I never smelled a smelt that smelled like that smelt smelled
Esau Wood sawed ...
Esau Wood sawed wood.
Esau Wood would saw wood with a wood saw.
Esau's wood saw would saw wood!
One day, Wood's wood saw would saw no wood,
so Wood sought a wood saw that would.
Then, Wood saw a wood saw saw wood as no
wood saw Wood ever saw wood sawed wood.
So Wood sought the wood saw that sawed wood
as no wood saw Wood ever saw ever sawed.
Now Wood saws wood with the wood saw Wood
saw saw wood as no wood saw
Wood ever saw would wood saw wood.
She stood on ...
She stood on the balcony,
inexplicably mimicking him hiccoughing,
and amicably welcoming him home.
Freshly-fried flying fish.
Many an anemone ...
Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone.
How much wood ...
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 as a woodchuck would
If a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Which wristwatches ...
Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
Some rare rephrased proverbs which need some thinking in order to be understood.
A contrived but very witty conversation between George Bush and Condoleezza Rice: Who is HU? The new leader of China?