Tongue Twisters

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Some of these may be familiar to English speakers. I think most, if not all, languages have tongue twisters. They are great fun to try and say, whatever your age I think.

I tend to use them to train students if they have difficulty saying a letter or a sound. For example, Swedish does not have a ‘ch’ sound, shown as /tʃ/ in the phonetic alphabet. So they tend to pronounce chips as ships and cheap as sheep. Sounds which you do not have in your own language are always difficult to pronounce because your tongue and lips do not know what to do.

Another thing these are useful for is if you are tongue tied and rusty when you have to give a speech or make a presentation. I suggest students close themselves in a room and read a few of these to loosen their tongues up beforehand. They may sound silly but they really do the trick.

 

TH

There those thousand thinkers were thinking how did the other three thieves go through

Elizabeth’s birthday is on the third Thursday of this month

Thirty-three thousand people think that Thursday is their thirtieth birthday.

Thirty-three thirsty, thundering thoroughbreds thumped Mr. Thurber on Thursday.

He threw three free throws.

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.

Aspirated H

In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen.

 T

Mr. Tongue Twister tried to train his tongue to twist and turn, to learn the letter “”T””.

Fresh fried fish,
Fish fresh fried,
Fried fish fresh,
Fish fried fresh

R

Round the rugged rock, the ragged rascal ran.
S/SH

Swan swam over the sea.
Swim, swan, swim!
Swan swam back again.
Well swum swan!

She sells sea shells on the sea shore;
The shells that she sells are sea shells I’m sure.
So if she sells sea shells on the sea shore,
I’m sure that the shells are sea shore shells.

Sunshine city, sunshine city, sunshine city, …

The soldier’s shoulder surely hurts!

 

Funny Tongue Twister Poems

I’m not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate,
And I’m only plucking pheasants ’cause the pheasant plucker’s late.
I’m not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s son,
And I’m only plucking pheasants till the pheasant pluckers come.

A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot
Said the two to the tutor
“Is it tougher to toot
Or to tutor two tooters to toot?”

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
How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

A certain young fellow named Beebee
Wished to marry a lady named Phoebe
“But,” he said. “I must see
What the minister’s fee be
Before Phoebe be Phoebe Beebee”

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck would chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck
If a woodchuck would chuck wood.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.

A skunk sat on a stump.
The stump thought the skunk stunk.
The skunk thought the stump stunk.
What stunk the skunk or the stump?<

If one doctor doctors another doctor
Does the doctor who doctors the doctor
Doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors?
Or does the doctor doctor the way
The doctor who doctors doctors?
The doctoring doctor doctors the doctor the way
The doctoring doctor wants to doctor the doctor.
Not the way the doctored doctor wants to be doctored.

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!

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.

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

Ed 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, the shot was Shott, not Nott.
However, the shot Shott shot shot not Shott – but Nott.
Ed Nott was shot and that’s hot! Is it not?

Bitty Batter bought some butter
“But,” said she, “this butter’s bitter.
If I put it in my batter,
It will make my batter bitter.”So she bought some better butter,
And she put the better butter in the bitter batter,
And made the bitter batter better.



Categories: Pronunciation

3 replies

  1. She sells sea shells on the sea shore!

    Like

  2. Here’s one my Dad taught me when I was a child.

    Theopholus Thistle the unsifted thistle sifter, sifted a sieveful of unsifted thistles. If Theopholus Thistle the unsifted thistle sifter sifted a sieveful of unsifted thistles, what became of the sieveful of unsifted thistles that Theopholus Thistle the unsifted thistle sifter sifted.

    Yes, I can still say it too!

    Like

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