100 Tongue Twisters to Perfect Pronunciation in English

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100 Tongue Twisters to Perfect Pronunciation in English

Tongue twisters of all sorts and sizes have been helping people to perfect their pronunciation in English for decades. Although they don’t make a lot of sense, tongue twisters are very helpful in speech therapy due to their repeated sounds. For this reason, they are used by actors, politicians and even news anchors before going live. Essentially, a tongue twister works like a physical exercise: the more you practice, the better your pronunciation will be.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a tongue twister is “a sentence or phrase that is intended to be difficult to say, especially when repeated quickly and often”. If you too want to improve or perfect your English pronunciation, dive into the complete list of English tongue twisters listed below: from short tongue twisters to tongue twisters for kids and hard tongue twisters to further challenge your pronunciation.

  1. Short tongue twisters
  2. Long tongue twisters
  3. Hard tongue twister
  4. Tongue twisters for kids
  5. Funny tongue twisters
  6. Tongue twisters with S, R, L and TH
  7. Learn a language in 5 minutes a day

Short tongue twisters

Before trying the hard English tongue twisters for champions who talk fast, let’s warm up your speech muscles with some short and fairly easy tongue twisters for beginners.

  1. Eleven benevolent elephants.
  2. She sees cheese.
  3. Six sticky skeletons.
  4. Truly rural.
  5. Each Easter Eddie eats eighty Easter eggs.
  6. Which witch is which?
  7. Willy’s real rear wheel.
  8. Send toast to ten tense stout saints’ ten tall tents.
  9. Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.
  10. Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.
  11. A happy hippo hopped and hiccupped.
  12. English can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.
  13. Cooks cook cupcakes quickly.
  14. Really leery, rarely Larry.
  15. Twelve twins twirled twelve twigs.
  16. A snake sneaks to seek a snack.
  17. I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York.
  18. Six Czech cricket critics.
  19. Babbling baby boys blurted boldly.
  20. Which wrist watches are Swiss wrist watches?
  21. How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
  22. An ape hates grape cakes.
  23. Fred fed Ted bread and Ted fed Fred bread.
  24. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.
  25. Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?
  26. Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.
  27. She sells seashells by the seashore.
  28. Gobbling gargoyles gobbled gobbling goblins.
  29. Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.
  30. Billy Bob blabbered boldly.

'Short tongue twisters' by Josh Bean©

Long tongue twisters

When it comes to long tongue twisters and talking fast, we can’t help but think about Eminem. Did you know that he raps with a whopping speed of 11.4 syllables per second in his song “Rap God”? We don’t know much about rap, but that sure sounds like something only the God of Rap could do.

But Eminem’s songs and long tongue twisters are challenging for those who are not ready for long runs. Are you? Can you defeat Eminem? Let’s find out. Take a deep breath and try saying the following tongue twister without stopping.

  1. All I want is a proper cup of coffee.
    Made in a proper copper coffee pot.
    You can believe it or not.
    But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
    Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re not good to me.
    If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
    All I want is a proper cup of coffee.
    Made in a proper copper coffee pot.
    You can believe it or not.
    But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
  2. To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
    In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
    Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
    From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
    To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
    In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
    Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
    From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
    A dull, dark dock, a life-long lock,
    A short, sharp shock, a big black block!
    To sit in solemn silence in a pestilential prison,
    And awaiting the sensation
    From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
  3. Betty Botter bought some butter but, said she, 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 bitter batter better.
    So she bought some better butter, better than the bitter butter,
    put it in her bitter batter, made her bitter batter better.
    So ‘t was better Betty Botter bought some better butter.
  4. I’m a mother pheasant plucker, I pluck mother pheasants.
    I’m the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker to ever pluck a mother pheasant.
    I’m not the pheasant plucker I’m the pheasant plucker’s wife, I’ve been plucking Mother pheasants my whole pheasant plucking life.
    I’m not the pheasant plucker I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate, I’m only plucking Pheasants ’cause the pheasant plucker’s late.
  5. 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.

'Long tongue twisters' by Mona Eendra©

  1. 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
    Soar’s seesaw.
    So See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw.
    But it was sad to see Soar so sore
    just because See’s saw sawed
    Soar’s seesaw.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. A flea and a fly in a flue
    Said the fly “Oh what should we do”
    Said the flea” Let us fly
    Said the fly “Let us flee”
    So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
  5. 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.

Hard tongue twisters

While we’re at it, we can help but wonder what the hardest tongue twister in existence is. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

At one point, “the sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick” held the Guinness World Record for the hardest twister, but since the category no longer exists, the title was probably revoked.

'Hard tongue twisters' by Daniel Sandoval©

 

Don’t worry though! We are not running out of options. In 2013, MIT‌ researchers concluded that “pad kid poured curd pulled cod” is the hardest tongue twister in the world. In fact, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, an MIT psychologist, says you will get a prize if you manage to say that 10 times quickly. And not any kind of “quickly”. We’re talking super-sonic-Eminem-quickly!

  1. Pad kid poured curd pulled cod.
  2. If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.
  3. Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons — balancing them badly.
  4. Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.
  5. Can you can a canned can into an un-canned can like a canner can can a canned can into an un-canned can?
  6. The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick.
  7. Rory the warrior and Roger the worrier were reared wrongly in a rural brewery.
  8. Ingenious iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly-impractical instruments.
  9. I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop
    Where she shines, she sits, and where she sits, she shines.
  10. When a doctor doctors a doctor, does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor as the doctor being doctored wants to be doctored or does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor as he wants to doctor?
  11. These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue.
  12. Thirty-three thirsty, thundering thoroughbreds thumped Mr. Thurber on Thursday.
  13. Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons—balancing them badly.
  14. A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
  15. Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.
  16. He threw three free throws.
  17. Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear.
  18. Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone.
  19. Chop shops stock chops.

Tongue twisters for kids

Tongue twisters for kids are all sweet, fun, and games until you increase the speed. If you haven’t had enough training, even they can tie your tongue into a Gordian knot. Literally.

'Tongue twisters for kids' by Todd Trapani©

 

Take a little brother, sister, or your own kid, and let’s see who wins the challenge!

  1. Blue bluebird.
  2. Four fine fresh fish for you.
  3. Daddy Draws Doors.
  4. Three free throws.
  5. The big bug bit the little beetle.
  6. Friendly fleas and fireflies.
  7. Fresh fried fish.
  8. The raging ram runs ’round rugged Ricky to hit Mickey.
  9. Specific Pacific.
  10. Tommy tossed his twelfth tooth when it turned two times.
  11. Fred fed Ted bread and Ted fed Fred bread.
  12. Betty’s big bunny bobbled by the blueberry bush.
  13. Six sticky skeletons.
  14. Green glass globes glow greenly.
  15. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?
  16. If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
  17. Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
  18. I scream, you scream,
    We all scream for ice cream.
  19. Bouncing bed bugs borrowed blankets.
  20. Perspicacious Polly Perkins purchased Peter’s product
    And peddled pickles to produce a pretty profit!

Funny tongue twisters

Our all-time favorite: funny tongue twisters! You’d think all tongue twisters are funny, but nothing compares to this exclusive selection. In fact, you probably heard these ones before. Everybody calls them „funny” for a reason!

Don’t forget to challenge your friends!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. She sells seashells on the seashore.
    The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure.
    And if she sells seashells on the seashore,
    Then I’m sure she sells seashore shells.
  4. Birdie birdie in the sky laid a turdie in my eye.
    If cows could fly I’d have a cow pie in my eye.
  5. How much ground would a groundhog hog, if a groundhog could hog ground? A groundhog would hog all the ground he could hog, if a groundhog could hog ground.
  6. Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.
    Spread it thick, say it quick!
    Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.
    Spread it thicker, say it quicker!
    Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.
    Don’t eat with your mouth full!
  7. I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.
  8. 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.

'Funny tongue twisters' by David Clode©

 

Tongue twisters with S, R, L and TH

As we already mentioned, tongue twisters can be extremely helpful for speech therapy. If you are having problems pronouncing certain sounds like “s”, “r”, “l” or “th”, practicing with the right tongue twisters can ameliorate your speech impediment. Here are a few examples:

Tongue twisters with S

  1. She sells seashells by the seashore of Seychelles.
  2. “Surely Sylvia swims!” shrieked Sammy surprised. “Someone should show Sylvia some strokes so she shall not sink.”
  3. Selfish shellfish. (repeat it several times)

Tongue twisters with R and L

  1. Red lorry, yellow lorry.
  2. A really leery Larry rolls readily to the road.
  3. Rory’s lawn rake rarely rakes really right.
  4. Lucky rabbits like to cause a ruckus.
  5. I looked right at Larry’s rally and left in a hurry.
  6. Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

Tongue twisters with TH

  1. The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
  2. 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 I thought.
  3. Something in a thirty-acre thermal thicket of thorns and thistles thumped and thundered threatening the three-D thoughts of Matthew the thug – although, theatrically, it was only the thirteen-thousand thistles and thorns through the underneath of his thigh that the thirty-year-old thug thought of that morning.
  4. Thirty-three thousand feathers on a thrushes throat.

The world-famous Peter Piper tongue twister first appeared in print sometime in 1813, in a book called “Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation”, though it is believed that it may have already been in common use by that time. Fast forward to today, people all around the world still love to have a laugh and twist their tongues with this rhyme and many others. And now you do too.


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Diana Lăpușneanu

Movie geek turned content writer, Diana is passionate about storytelling, mythology and art history. She is currently exploring the wonderful world of languages at Mondly where she can put her fascination with historical linguistics to good use. Her Master’s Degree in advertising helps her sail smoothly through her responsibilities as a content creator for blogs and social media.


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